Talking Tiles to aid communication
Technology blog: Good communication is essential and there are brilliant devices that can make life much easier.
Welcome to the first technology blog. We will use these blogs to give you updates on the type of technology we are using to support people. The theme of this first blog is communication and we are focusing on Talking Tiles.
Talking Tiles are small hexagonal voice recorders that can be customised with any message. The message can be up to 80 seconds long. You can hear the message by pushing down on the hexagon, just like a button. The tiles come in a range of colours, and have a clear plastic cover that you can put a photo or message behind.
In Maidstone we have been using Talking Tiles to help two people with their communication. The staff team recorded two different messages on two Talking Tiles: one for 'toilet' and one for 'cup of tea'. They also printed photo symbols to identify each tile. The people now use the tiles at home as well as with friends and family.
Families were impressed at how a simple aid could be used so easily. Karen McCaw, Team Leader
The Talking Tiles have been a success. Karen, the team leader, told us:
“It’s not only a good communication aid but fun. The ladies laugh every time they press the one set up for wanting a cup of tea. Families were impressed at how a simple aid could be used so easily. We are planning on getting more to record other words that the people using the tiles would benefit from.”
Talking Tiles can be purchased individually from £9 or in packs of 5 from £50. We bought our Talking Tiles at Inclusive Technology, but they are widely available from many online stores.
Our Innovation and Technology Team helps people we support and staff teams to consider using technology as part of the support. We believe that technology should be available to anybody at anytime. We feel it should be part of their day-to-day lives, where appropriate. Technology can provide solutions to a range of barriers including:
- tasks that people may find diffficult
- self-managing mental health needs
- staying connected with friends and family
- increasing independence and staying safe
- delivering support in a different way i.e. using sensors and smart technology to reduce hourly checks and improve overnight support.
After a short assessment, the team will research possible solutions, taking into consideration the person's needs. We can also loan out equipment so people can try before they buy.