Travel with AAC: Prepare, enjoy, reminisce

Travel can be exciting and filled with lots of questions. Read how Johanna prepares with different tools for when she travels with her son, an adult AAC user.

Travel can be exciting and filled with lots of questions. As technology has improved, our methods for anticipating, recording for use as a personal diary and sharing trips continue to evolve for our son, an adult AAC user.

Preparing with a communication solution

Beforehand, in the AAC app, in our case Proloquo2Go, we have a travel page that includes common questions and comments, a folder for packing a suitcase, and a folder for each trip with additional details. Trips have included attending weddings, seeing family and friends, and going to a waterpark. As we prepare for a trip, the appropriate folder is hidden until we are ready for it.

Questions and comments

For us, the travel page has frequent questions, such as when are we going, where are we going, are we driving or flying, and are we staying at a hotel? Comments include sharing the interest in travel and asking others about their travels. The specific trip page may include an airline logo and a logo or picture of the hotel and attractions. If we will see family or friends, we include their pictures. Our son enjoys relating where we live and where we are going, so we have included maps marked with the origin, destination and perhaps routing.

Visual schedule

We may also prepare a calendar page as a visual schedule, such as this generic example from a recent trip. A few photos were added as they became available during or after the trip.

Suitcase page in Proloquo2Go
Suitcase page
Travel page in Proloquo2Go
Travel page
Travel Calendar in Proloquo2Go
Travel calendar

During the trip

We take lots of photos and videos, particularly of unique moments. The prepared pages may be updated with photos during the trip, and more updating may occur afterwards. During the trip photos and videos are shared between iOS devices using AirDrop. Afterwards, photos and videos are also placed in their own album within the Photos app.

Interactive stories

The visual storytelling app that we use, Pictello, has been useful before, during and after trips. We have done stories beforehand of what we will be doing, then updated the story during the trip while waiting for a meal in a restaurant or in the evening. Afterwards the stories provide a way to share the trip's highlights with others and serve as a diary.

Collages

To incorporate several related photos on a page, we have made collages. Two apps we use are Pic Collage and PicFrame. Text could be included on the collage, but we tend to place it in Pictello's text boxes. We include videos, too. If the video's sound will be on, then the previous page within the story may have a related photo and description so there is a smooth transition to the subsequent video.

Pictello showing a collage of three photos
Collage In Pictello

By using the iOS Photos app with our trip's photos and videos, Proloquo2Go and Pictello, trips can be anticipated, enjoyed and revisited easily and shared, too.