Tawasol App: An Arabic Augmentative and Alternative Communication Solution
There is a significant lack of Arabic Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) solutions for people with disabilities, which negatively affects their ability to
communicate verbally. “Tawasol App” is one
of the first Arabic-language solutions for
AAC that uses “Tawasol Symbols” which is
an Arabic/English dictionary containing the
most commonly spoken and written words
represented by symbols and illustrations.
“Tawasol Symbols” is a project aiming to
improve communication skills for people and
children with communication or reading and
“Tawasol App” gives people with
communication difficulties and children with
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) the ability
to express themselves and build sentences in
Arabic through a wide range of symbols.
Mada›s Innovation Program has provided
funding and subject-matter expertise to
Royalty inc. through its Entrepreneur Grant to
develop “Tawasol App”.
The current English AAC solutions did not
provide the cultural contexts nor the language
necessary for the Arabic-speaking Qatari
community. On the other hand, the “Tawasol
Symbols” provides a great opportunity for
non-verbal communication that is culturally
proportional to the Qatari and Arabic user.
Merging these symbols into a single application
enhances the ability of non-verbal people to
communicate with others.
The app allows users to add symbols and
vocabulary as they need, making it ideal for a wide
range of people with disabilities, including adults
such as trauma victims and those who temporarily
need a communication tool. This application
supports the use of alternative buttons and other
access tools for mobile devices, making it easy to
use for people with severe physical disabilities to
communicate with their family members.
This application was developed by following the
international guidelines governing AAC methods,
as well as transforming speech models into
alternative and enhanced communication by
following the principles of verbal behavior and the analysis of applied behavior. This application emerged as one of the distinctive solutions in the Innovation Zone during the Gulf Region Education Assistive Technology Conference (GREAT 2018).
The application is expected to have a significant impact on persons with disabilities and their families because it gives a voice to people with communication difficulties who need an alternative Arabic-speaking communication tool in Qatar and the Arab region. This application is designed to be highly adjustable so that teachers and families of persons with disabilities are able to customize it to meet the communication needs of their children at home, at school or elsewhere. Providing a comprehensive Arab communication tool for people with disabilities will help them engage in society by talking to others and expressing themselves. By enabling them to
communicate, people with disabilities can get
better opportunities to learn and work.
Using the Arabic language to provide a technical solution consisting of appropriate
words and symbols will facilitate and
improve the lives of people who are unable
to communicate in English. In addition, the
expressive language resulting from this application can be understood by family
members, relatives, the school and the community who speak the Arabic language.