Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD)

Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD)

PODD is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tool that organizes vocabulary to support expression and comprehension for individuals with complex communication needs. Language is organized in a practical layout that requires minimal page turns to communicate. 

PODD is available as low tech communication books or supported through multiple high tech software companies. PODD can also be modified to accommodate students with various complex communication, physical, and sensory needs. 

Participants are taught how to:

  • Select, customize, and use PODD communication books 
  • Demonstrate language as a communication partner using PODD

PODD introductory training is offered as a statewide training or through the Building Blocks to Autonomous Communication.

PODD was developed by Gayle Porter, a speech language pathologist based out of Australia.

PODD Book Formats

PODD communication books serve as a non-electronic (paper) option for AAC users to communicate in places that may be challenging for high tech devices (e.g., in pools, outside when it is sunny, in various climates, etc). 

PODD is not designed to be the only AAC tool an individual uses, but rather one tool in someone’s ‘toolbox of communication methods’ that is useful all the time. While many people know it as a non-electronic communication book, PODD is also available on electronic devices through multiple software companies (AssistiveWare, TobiiDynavox, Grid, Jabbla, etc).

Individualizing PODD Books

PODD communication books can be modified to fit even the most complex AAC users. In addition, each AAC user has their own communication preferences and skills. For these reasons, PODD books can take on different formats, depending on the individual’s physical, sensory and communication needs.

Language Development through PODDs

This low tech option also allows emergent communicators to learn the cause and effect of communicating through selecting a button and having a communication partner turn a physical page, instead of ending up on a page of words and not knowing the sequence of how one arrived there.

Why Try Something New?

All learners have the right to understand others and to be understood. The aim of a PODD is for an individual with complex communication needs to meet their varied communication requirements as:

  • Intelligibly
  • Specifically
  • Efficiently
  • Independently and 
  • In as socially valued a manner as possible 

By providing a robust language for use in many environments, for multiple communicative purposes, across a range of topics, AAC users are enabled to more fully and effectively participate in a variety of social roles.

Evidence Base

Purchase PODD Communication Books Through Alt+Shift

Interested in ordering a PODD communication book through Alt+Shift? Follow these three steps: 

1. Attend a two-day introductory PODD training.

  • Individuals who have attended the one-day Alternative Access PODD training may also purchase from select eye gaze and partner assisted visual scanning books. Additional selections will be released as they are available.
  • Official PODD trainings can be found on the PODD USA website.

2. Own a copy of the PODD software (can be personally owned or through your school/program).

  • Direct Access Templates (i.e., books for those who point or touch symbols) can be purchased through Boardmaker.
  • Alternative Access Templates are not yet available in the US; however, interested individuals or ISDs can purchase an international copy (i.e., formatted for A4 paper with international vocabulary) through the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre (CPEC) or Spectronics websites. (Note: One page Alternative Access PODD communication books printed through Alt+Shift have been reformatted to letter-sized paper)

3. Follow the steps on the PODD Communication Book order form.

If you have questions related to ordering a PODD book, please contact Carolyn O'Hearn (carolyn.ohearn@altshift.education).

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