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Who is This Website For?

Low Tech Solutions offers information on low tech communication for people with SPEECH disabilities.

The communication options discussed on this site are designed for:

The communication solutions on this site are NOT geared towards people who have a significant LANGUAGE disorder.

People with a significant language disorder may have difficulty using a text based communication system. They will need a more personalized system (possibly a picture symbol based system).

Speech vs. Language?

There is some confusion over the difference between speech and language.
Speech and language are two very different things.


Picture of mouth


Speech is the vocalized form of human communication
(i.e. talking).



LANGUAGERepresentation of Language

Language refers to the complex system of human communication (and can include the meanings of words and how words are put together.)


Communication Disorders:
Speech, Language or Both?

When a person has difficulty communicating, it may be because they have problems with speech, or with language, or with both.


Some people have difficulties communicating because they have SPEECH problems. (They have physical problems with the muscles and nerves used for talking).


There are some individuals who have problems communicating because they have difficulties with LANGUAGE. (The parts of their brain which process and produce language are affected.)

A person with a language disorder may have problems with:

  • Expressive language (producing language, either written or spoken)
  • Receptive language (understanding the meaning of language)
  • A problem with both expressive and receptive language


Some people have difficulty communicating because of problems with both speech and language.

Language Disorders

There are some conditions such as stroke or traumatic brain injury which affect parts of the brain, and may result in a language disorder. (Keep in mind that not everyone with a stroke or TBI will have a language disorder).

It's important to remember that conditions like stroke or TBI occur along a continuum.

It all depends on the individual. It's important for a person with a language disability to work closely with a speech language pathologist to determine a communication system which best meets their needs and abilities.


* If you are not sure whether or not these options are right for you, please work together with a speech language pathologist with a background in Augmentative Communication.

This can help ensure that you get matched up with the communication system which is right for you.