Home > AAC Text Donation Study > Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently asked questions about Baton

I don't communicate in English. Can I still get involved?

Currently our focus is collecting data in English. The research team needs to review submitted sentences before release. To support more languages, we would need to expand our team with people fluent in those languages. Please let us know what languages you would like to see supported.

Why do you need this data?

We are trying to improve word prediction and better support end users in general who use AAC. To do this, we need to understand how people actually speak using their devices. Using an AAC device may lead a person to use different kinds of language or messages to a speaking person. But we don't have a lot of evidence for this. We aim to build a large pool of sentences people actually use. The goal is to improve research, and create more efficient language systems for AAC users.

I use a different program for my AAC. How do I donate my speech history?

You can use any application that can output speech history to a plain text file. Our software also directly supports some commercial applications. Check these guides for known applications and see how you can export your history. If your application isn't listed, contact the developer or company of your application. They should be able to give you advice on how to export your history to a text file.

I'm not sure. What will happen to my data? Is this ethical?

It's prudent to be careful about sharing any data with a third party. Consent to join the study lies with you. You can stop and remove any data submitted at any time. You can't take part without starting a conversation with Principal Investigator, Keith Vertanen. You'll also need to install the software.

You'll be able to check each utterance before you submit them. The software will warn you if a sentence appears to contain personally identifiable information. These checks are not comprehensive. They are not a substitute for carefully reviewing your sentences before submission.

I'm a developer. How can I help?

It would be great if the Baton app could interface directly with your AAC app and then display messages. However, the strict way the study is being conducted restricts how this can work. A user must choose every sentence via the Baton app rather than in some other software package. We would be happy to receive pull requests to suit your application or file format on GitHub. You could also provide a method in your AAC app to export a user's speech history to a simple text file

How to export your AAC history to Baton

If your app is not listed here, then we don't know of a way for the app to export a suitable file format of your speech history. Get in touch with the developer of your communication software for more support.


Dasher speech history is natively supported.


You can export your speech history from Predictable using a web browser. Once logged in find your speech history and export it using the tool as noted in this video. Unzip (extract) the file that downloads. You will have a file called PhraseBank.json. You can then upload this file using Baton.

Grid 3

Baton automatically collects speech history as long as you have not set Grid to private mode. If you have more than one Grid user it will show the history for all users. You can choose to ignore some users when selecting sentences. Grid does not store single utterances or words. You will not be able to share these with Baton.

Tobii Communicator

Baton reads in data from your speech history file Speech History.phr. You will need to point Baton at where this file is located on your computer. The default location is %AppData%\Tobii Dynavox\Communicator\5\Users\COMMUNICATOR_USERNAME\Phrases\Speech History.phr (replace COMUNICATOR_USERNAME with your actual username in Tobii Communicator).

Note for this to work, the setting "Record Speech History" must be checked. This setting can be found in Advanced Settings -> My Phrases or within your keyboard pageset. You want to set "Speech History Recording" to on.

AAC Speech Assistant

On iOS it's possible to export your history as a text file. Export this and share with your computer running Baton. Point Baton at the location of this text file. Each time you re-run Baton, keep the same text file location but overwrite it with a new file. Baton will only detect new sentences added to the file.

It is not possible to export speech history on the Android version.

Speak For Yourself AAC

Read this blog entry to email yourself your speech history as a comma-separate values (CSV) file.

If have a question not covered here, please contact Keith Vertanen at [email protected]