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WordPower is available as a text or pictorial based program. Both programs combine core vocabulary, spelling and topic-based pages in a variety of grid sizes: 45, 60, 84 and 144 keys.
WordPower and Picture WordPower are supplemented by an extensive range of pages that are fully customisable. Both programs feature a QWERTY keyboard and word prediction. Picture WordPower is available with either PCS or MinSymbols.
WordPower software is a unique vocabulary design for an augmentative/alternative communication device. WordPower combines the features of core vocabulary, spelling and word prediction. The system takes advantage of the fact that while we may have a normal speaking vocabulary of between 10,000 and 30,000 words, a core of just 100 words accounts for approximately 50 percent of words spoken. Kucera and Francis' 1967 study, which analyzed written language samples for word frequency, revealed the following:
The following is a sample of those frequently occurring words:
I to you the that have a it my and of will in is me on do was
Words such as these are repeated over and over throughout our language. WordPower uses these 100+ core words in conjunction with spelling and word prediction. Word prediction systems have provided more and more advantages in the last few years including features such as grammatical prediction, frequency, recency, and the ability to easily add words.
WordPower was originally designed for an individual in need of an augmentative communication device based on words. A vocabulary based on pre-stored sentences would not meet his communication needs. Though he could see the advantage of a picture-based system with symbol sequencing, he did not want to learn the complex language coding system. At the same time, he wanted more than a system based on spelling and word prediction. WordPower provided him a fast and efficient language, with minimal time and effort required for learning the system.
The core words of WordPower are categorized, color-coded and alphabetized for easy access. The main semantic categories include:
Questions Interjections Pronouns Negatives Helping verbs Verbs
Articles Prepositions and conjunctions Describing words Indefinite pronouns Time words