Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Laarhoven, Toni van

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Special and Early Education


Individuals who are nonverbal do not have the freedom to communicate outside of the room they are in without the help of technology. Through apps like TippyTalk EDU, individuals with this need for communication freedom can send messages to anyone, anywhere. This app can be used inside or outside of the classroom to communicate needs and wants, as well as engage in meaningful communication. Through collaboration with creator of TippyTalk EDU Rob Laffan, his creative team, and NIU faculty advisor Toni Van Laarhoven, and NIU student Kylie Cousins, a comprehensive, evidence-based manual was created to instruct teachers, parents, and caregivers on how to most effectively use TippyTalk EDU. Evidence of which areas of focus to include on the manual was derived from working with a focus student at DeKalb High School over the course of one week. After two, twenty-minute sessions two days in a row, the focus student was able to use TippyTalk EDU to express a desire after only one verbal prompt to use the device. The story of TippyTalk EDU, explanation of the application, a summary of research, and the evidence-based manual are all attached as thesis materials.


20 pages




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type