Frequently Asked Questions About Gateway©

Is Gateway new?  It looks familiar.

     Gateway has been commercially available since 1998. It was originally licensed exclusively to DynaVox and was included in all of their text-to-speech devices both as a separate User and later included as a part of their InterAACT platform.  In 2013, in order to reach a wider user base, Gateway became non-exclusive and is now offered within Proloquo2Go, the TouchChat and the Tobii DynaVox Snap app.

Does Gateway support language development in young children?

     Absolutely! Gateway was designed with the goals of enabling children say what they want to say as efficiently as possible and to develop language and literacy skills to the highest of their potential.

     Gateway supports syntactic development and help to build a child's vocabulary.

     Gateway's framework enables children to actively participate in their educational program and demonstrate mastery of core curriculum competencies.

Does a child need to begin using Gateway 12 or 20 before he/she can advance to a larger grid size such as Gateway 60, 80 or even 140?

     No, not at all. In fact, it is recommended that all users begin with the grid size containing the largest number of symbols that they can handle.

     Children with physical limitations or visual impairments may require a smaller grid size to achieve a high degree of accuracy when selecting symbols.  Accuracy is important so a communication partner can distinguish between an intended response and a miss-hit.

     Selecting the largest grid-size a user can handle results in more efficient communication. Less keystrokes are needed to compose a message.

     All App platforms that support Gateway incorporate a “hide” feature so that a large grid size can be selected, buttons hidden, and successful communication can be achieved.

I see that there are a variety of vocabulary levels (page sets) with each targeting a different user population.  How do I know which one I should choose?

     The most appropriate way to select a User Vocabulary is to have and understanding of your child's or student's abilities and communication needs and goals.  Your child is a person, not a diagnosis.  You need to select a User Vocabulary that matches his/her abilities and needs.

     Each User Vocabulary targets a different clinical population by having a focused fringe vocabulary or varying efficiency features.  For example, children with ASD often have many sensory needs or interests. The Child Functional Vocabulary includes fringe vocabulary to reflect these needs. Advanced Communicators often seek the most efficient communication possible. Dynamic Morphology features are added to this User Vocabulary to help achieve this goal.  Other User Vocabularies offer different features and fringe vocabularies.

     No matter which User Vocabulary is selected, it should be customized and personalized for the user. That being said, an SLP or parent may elect to select the Advanced Communicator for a child with ASD because the child is making 4-5 word sentences and communication goals include correct sentence structure and ease of communication. The necessary fringe vocabulary can be added to personalize the system. The My Things folder is one easy way to accomplish this.

     The key is to: (1) understand the user's abilities, needs and goals, (2) know the features of each Gateway User Vocabulary Level, and (3) select the Vocabulary Level that is the best match to enable the user to meet his/her communication goals.

How can I determine what is the best grid size for the user?

     The Test of Aided-Communication Symbol Performance (TASP) is one tool that can be used to systematically assess an individual's optimal symbol size and field number.

How does Gateway differ from Proloquo2Go's Crescendo Vocabulary?

     The Crescendo Vocabulary uses a set of high frequency Core vocabulary.  The Home page of all grid sizes contains verbs (e.g., have, get, put), pronouns and little words on the with links to fringe vocabulary.  

     The the folders that lead to fringe vocabulary link to an extensive sub-categorization system for many word categories.  The smaller the grid size, the more complex the categorization. This not only results in more key selections, but some individuals may also find the cognitive load limits effective use of the system.  

     Gateway© is one of the most efficient AAC Apps available and it is simple to learn. The ability to access vocabulary using an average of < 1.5 key selections per word is a hallmark of Gateway's organizational structure.

     The Home page of each Gateway grid size includes a high frequency core and include iconic verbs, and commonly used nouns for people, places and things.  

What is the difference between Gateway and WordPower?

     Gateway and Word Power are both core word vocabularies. Both are designed by Speech-Language Pathologists with extensive experience in AAC.  Gateway is authored by Joan Bruno, Ph.D, CCC-SLP and WordPower is authored by Nancy Inman, M.A.T, CCC-SLP.

     Gateway and WordPower use a Fitzgerald Key format and the same color-coding for parts of speech (e.g., People – yellow; Verbs – green, etc).

     Both Gateway and WordPower offer multiple grid size configurations and for both systems a user should select a grid size that matches their physical and visual abilities.

     Both Gateway and WordPower have symbol and text-based versions. WordPower uses more text (words) within their picture versions, requiring users to have better sight word recognition skills than is required by Gateway.

     Gateway was originally designed for a young child. The Gateway Vocabulary series has been designed from a developmental perspective, enabling SLP's to systematically teach language to young children and benchmark progress using standard speech and language assessments.  Many of the enhancements to Gateway stemmed from the needs of Gateway users as they moved from elementary school, to high school and onto college.

     WordPower was originally developed for a literate user. Commercial vocabularies moved from the original complex program to simpler page sets designed for younger users.

     Gateway uses a simpler and more direct categorization schema to access fringe vocabulary, especially in the vocabularies designed for younger users. WordPower requires more complex categorization for some of the object categories.