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LAMP Words for Life® is a well-loved app with its consistent motor plans and multi-meaning symbols. 2023 brought head tracking and Canadian French to the app. And now it’s time to expand again! Coming this spring, LAMP WFL will be accessible on an iPhone®! 

With an 84-button location grid, LAMP WFL will continue to be ideal for many on an iPad. The buttons on an average iPhone screen are about the size of a push pin. The small size won’t be a fit for everyone, but it will be an amazing resource for many.  

“While learning a skill, motor movements tend to be larger and less refined,” said Cindy Halloran, OTR/L, co-creator of Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP™). “It’s difficult to learn a new task when a lot of cognitive effort and precision is required. Individuals who are starting their communication journey with LAMP Words for Life would be best supported using a larger screen, bigger buttons, more unique motor plans, and Keyguards.” 

Let’s talk about scenarios for using LAMP WFL on a tablet versus a phone. 

When would an iPad be best for LAMP WFL? 

  • New communicators 
    • When teaching words to beginning communicators, it’s helpful to limit distractions and increase successful attempts; an iPad’s larger buttons and the Vocabulary Builder™ feature are a winning combination; larger buttons are easier to target, and developing automaticity for fluency (speed) depends on not having to put much thought into precise motor movements 
  • Communicators who use a Keyguard or TouchGuide 
    • For individuals who access vocabulary buttons with direct touch and a Keyguard or TouchGuide, continue to use your iPad as these supports are not available for an iPhone 
  • Communicators who use head tracking 
    • A larger iPad is recommended for head tracking—especially when someone is just getting started with this access method 
  • Communicators with visual impairment 
    • Individuals with any visual impairment would benefit from the larger symbols and text an iPad provides 

When would an iPhone be useful for LAMP WFL? 

  • Fluent communicators 
    • Communicators who are fluent in their vocab may want a more portable option that the iPhone provides 
  • Communication partners 
    • LAMP WFL on an iPhone will give communication partners increased opportunities to learn button pathways and model it; plus, additional iOS devices in your family and on your AAC team means even more communication partners can use LAMP WFL 
  • Quick stops/short-term AAC solution 
    • If you are out and about on a busy day, taking your AAC words with you into a quick stop with an iPhone could be a convenient solution 
  • Backup AAC 
    • If your iPad is temporarily broken or misplaced, your iPhone could serve as a backup for communication needs 

Cindy Halloran continued, “Accessibility on an iPhone is in response to requests from communication partners who wanted more opportunities to learn and model as well as requests from adolescents and young adults wanting a tool for robust communication but preferring an iPhone in some social situations. I’m glad that LAMP Words for Life will soon be available to fit those needs!" 

LAMP WFL system requirements will be as follows: 

Current Minimum Requirements: 

  • iOS 14.0 
  • iPod® 6th Gen running iOS 14 
  • iPhone® 6 running iOS 14 
  • iPad® Air running iOS 14 
  • iPad mini™ 4 running iOS 14 

Current Recommended Requirements: 

  • iOS 17/iPadOS 17 
  • iPad mini™ 6th generation  
  • iPad® Air 5th generation  
  • iPad® 10th generation  
  • iPad Pro® 11-inch or 12.9-inch (5th generation) 
  • iPhone® 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro, or 15 Pro Max 

If you’re already a LAMP WFL communicator, this spring, you’ll be able download your app to your iPhone at no extra cost. Files can be transferred in the same manner as you have previously between iPads or your Mac computer. Remember to save your vocabulary files with different names as vocab files are not synced across devices.

How to download: Go to the App Store on your iPhone and download the app in the same way you would on an iPad. You’ll use the same Apple ID and password on both devices. The interface on your iPhone will look similar to what’s on your iPad.

A little LAMP WFL trivia 

LAMP WFL combines the power of the Unity® language system and Language Acquisition Motor Planning (LAMP™) approach. First appearing as a vocabulary file on Vantage communication devices (a predecessor to Accent® products), LAMP WFL became available as an iOS app for iPad® about 10 years ago. In 2023, head tracking became available for the popular app bringing this research-based vocabulary to more individuals with complex bodies. Last year, bilingual options grew by one as Canadian French/English joined the language options alongside Spanish/English. 

More features and options are added to bring voices to more people around the world. Have ideas for future options? Let us know through our online feedback form.