Vest Buddy- Wearable Augmented Alternative Communication (WAAC) Vest

By: Eric G., Sarah D. & Maria B.
Year: 2000
School: Olinda Elementary School, 6th grade
Division: Junior

Vest Buddy is a collaborative effort by 6th graders at Olinda Elementary School in Brea, California.

We wanted to design a device that would allow people with limited speaking abilities to be included in sports and play activities with their nondisabled peers.

Augmented Alternative Communication (AAC) technology available today is too expensive and hard to reprogram. We designed a talking vest that people could use to communicate while doing physical activities.

Besides being low cost, these vests are so easy to use that a non-speaking child user can easily program their own vest using Scratch and easily transfer speech from their AAC to the vest for different activities.