AsTeRICS Grid Communicator – UTAC-CACE Communicator

Introduction to CACE-UTAC vocabulary

CACE is the spanish abbreviation for Augmentative Communication and Environment Control. With this name, in 2007 a research project led by the University of Barcelona and the Universitat Politècnica de Barcelona was carried out with a grant from IMSERSO.

The Unitat de Tècniques Augmentatives de Comunicació UTAC, a service of the University of Barcelona in collaboration with the Generalitat de Catalunya, developed the “Proposal for the organization of pictographic vocabulary for computers and communication boards”, which was concretized in a pictographic communicator called Comunicador CACE-UTAC.

Project objectives

The objectives of the CACE-UTAC project are:

  • Providing a vocabulary base, freely accessible, for users of pictographic systems
  • Providing a vocabulary that enhances the development of language in addition to promoting daily communication
  • Offering a broad lexicon that facilitates the necessary customization. Professionals and family members select the appropriate vocabulary according to the person and the context.
  • Organizing a support product for communication structured in categories according to semantic and syntactic parameters
  • Facilitating that the support products for the communication of high and low technology of the same user have identical content

Poster and vocabulary list CACE-UTAC

For more information on the initial development of vocabulary you can consult the poster that was presented at the International Congress of the ISAAC 2010 in Barcelona.

Selection of CACE-UTAC vocabulary

The following criteria are proposed for the selection and adaptation of vocabulary:

  • Evolutionary approach: age-appropriate vocabulary
  • Ecological approach: vocabulary needed according to the context
  • Personalization based on the interests and reality of the user. Some of the categories that require greater customization, adding vocabulary from the beginning, are: people (relatives, colleagues, professionals …), places (places where you usually go and are not included in the default vocabulary), games and sports (toys or games that are of interest to the user). Vocabulary customization can be a key element to the success of any augmentative communication system.
  • Functional communication: expression of demands, but also other communicative functions such as asking, explaining, refuting, joking, nuancing, etc.
  • Linguistic development: lexical diversity, extension of statements, etc.
  • Selection of more symbolic pictograms: choose pictograms with “stick” people (schematic) rather than more concrete and detailed pictograms.
  • Selection of colorless pictograms: unless the color is something characteristic of the object (e.g. a lemon), it may be interesting to choose colorless pictograms.

UTAC-CACE grids available for AsTeRICS Grid with essential words on the left side


For a correct functioning of the communicator, you must take into account:

  • You cannot change the number of columns and rows of the Global Grid, because it is set to work correctly.
  • It is not possible to modify the number of rows of the grids that compose it, although in this case, it is possible to modify the number of columns.