Communication samples generated by five nonspeaking adults using Canon Communicators were collected for 14 consecutive days. Samples were analyzed to determine frequency of word occurrence. A core vocabulary of the 500 most frequently occurring words was analyzed further to determine spelling level and proportion communication samples represented by subsets of the core vocabulary list. The 500 core vocabulary words represented 80% of the total words in the combined communication samples for the 5 subjects. Of all messages generated by the subjects, 33% could be communicated in their entirety using words from the core vocabulary list. The communication of the remaining messages required one or more words in addition to the core vocabulary. The spelling grade level of the words in the core vocabulary list did not exceed the seventh grade. The implications of the results for designing and customizing communication aids and for potential user training are discussed.
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