Wallpaper your Home(screen)

Image of ugly wallpaper

When we bought our house in Bucks County, we had to contend with lots of wallpaper. There were wallpaper bricks, flowers, metallic ‘splashes’ on an orange background…even the ceilings were wallpapered. Taking down all that paper was like conducting an archaeological dig into the poor home decorating choices of the twentieth century.

I’ve heard that wallpaper is making a comeback.  It will never enter my house again. NEVER. But I do like to play with the wallpaper on my I devices.  For one, it’s easy to change. I currently have a picture of my dog, Ginny.

Image of a dog on an iPhone home screen

Okay, but why write about wallpaper? Because it can be used for good.  When a tablets and phones are used for AAC, we can use the wallpaper to support our clients.

For instance, you could place wallpaper on a student device that reminds caregivers to keep the device out and available.  I know of several great SLPs who do this. Here is an example.

You can also give tips about modeling AAC. Take a picture of your favorite modeling poster, or grab a PDF from the internet and place it on the screen.  Some examples include:

Image of AAC Bootcamp Poster


MODEL poster for AAC

What if you have a client who is prone to misplacing their iPad?  Use wallpaper for caregiver contact information: If found, please contact Jane AAC at the following number.  That way, if the device is passcoded and locked, it can still be returned.

If the iPad is being used by an adult who might elope, the wallpaper could contain a brief introduction so that first responders and neighbors know that the person has a disability and uses it to communicate. Let’s use the wallpaper to keep people safe.

Image of personal info on iPad wallpaper

Back in the school setting, what if you have several iPads in a classroom and they all have the same case? School districts do bulk purchases, I’ve seen it happen.  You could get creative. Have the student create some art surrounding an image of their name. Take a picture of the art and use it as wallpaper. The student will be able to find their iPad independently when it gets put down.

Image of a student's art

Hey teachers, if you have general classroom iPads, use the wallpaper to number them, or to describe the rules for iPad use.  Keep games and learning apps on an iPad SEPARATE from your student’s AAC device.

Let us know how you use the wallpaper on your iPads!

Kathryn Helland

Kathryn is a certified speech-language pathologist and works with children and adults with complex communication needs. She has been with the TechOWL team since 2015 and is currently working on her doctorate. She would like to examine how to best support AAC users in higher education.

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