The Short Story of Frametalker: An Interactive AAC Device This is a personal story about the development of Frametalker, which is our attempt to provide a corrective to the prevailing AAC mindset. The Frametalker project stems from a desire to foreground factors relating to natural human social interaction and to background technological factors relating to user and machine. ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2006
The Short Story of Frametalker: An Interactive AAC Device
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • D. Jeffery Higginbotham
    Center for Excellence in Augmented Communication Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
  • David P. Wilkins
    Center for Aphasia and Related Disorders V.A. Northern California Health Care System, Martinez, CA
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Articles
Article   |   April 01, 2006
The Short Story of Frametalker: An Interactive AAC Device
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, April 2006, Vol. 15, 18-22. doi:10.1044/aac15.1.18
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, April 2006, Vol. 15, 18-22. doi:10.1044/aac15.1.18
This is a personal story about the development of Frametalker, which is our attempt to provide a corrective to the prevailing AAC mindset. The Frametalker project stems from a desire to foreground factors relating to natural human social interaction and to background technological factors relating to user and machine. To understand how it positions itself, some historical background is necessary.
The study of interaction and augmentative communication began in the mid to late 1970s, primarily through the efforts of David Yoder, David Beukelman, and their graduate students. At that time, many of us were struggling to describe and understand the complicated multimodal interactions that we were seeing and experiencing as clinicians and communication partners. However, the current communication frameworks of the day did not provide good accounts of interaction, and instead, relied on information-based models which viewed interactive communication as a series of signal exchanges and viewed the speaker as a signal transmitter rather than as a collaborative interactant. Most of our coding systems were based on child language research, which emphasized oral language rather than multimodal expression. We struggled with describing the multimodal interactions we were observing, because we lacked adequate theoretical and descriptive tools. Many of us who completed our dissertation research during this time were left with a feeling that much more was needed.
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