The Chat Bag: Communication Has A Tool. Chatting anywhere and everywhere

By: Lori Holbrook and Noa Nitzan 3, January 2016

I am very happy to introduce you to Lori Holbrook, from St. Louis, USA, mom to Hannah and designer of the CHAT Bag.

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The CHAT Bag is a bag that allows children or adult users of AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) to easily carry and use their iPad or tablet. The unique design allows users to use the tablet without taking it out of the bag.  Another plus is it’s attractive design and the large selection of patterns available on the website.

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Why is it important?

Let’s consider the situation of a child who uses their iPad for communication.  Since a person needs to talk everywhere, these children also need to take their iPad everywhere and finding a solution that provides a comfortable way to carry their iPad and allows their hands free for other things is necessary.  It’s also a necessity for the parent or caregiver of a person that uses the tablet for AAC. Sometimes the individual cannot or is not interested in carrying or holding the device, but the device needs to be accessible at all times and the parent or caregiver ends up carrying it.  They, too, need a comfortable solution. Providing a bag such as the CHAT bag allows for an optimal situation in which the communication device is readily available ensuring the facilitation and opportunity for communication at all times.

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The bag is ordered directly from the website, where patterns and prices can be found.

Any questions can be directed to Lori at chatbag@hotmail.com  She is wonderful and always open to assist in any way she can.

The Story Behind the CHAT Bag

By: Lori Holbrook

 What is a CHAT Bag?

The CHAT Bag was inspired by our daughter, Hannah, who has Down Syndrome, Autism, and Apraxia of Speech.  In 2010, Hannah’s school decided to try out the Apple iPad 1 with her to see how she would do using it as a communication device.  Hannah quickly took off with it and they purchased the Apple iPad 2 so we would have a camera to get photos on there more quickly.   This was a very exciting time for us to have this amazing device but I never could find anything that allowed her to carry her iPad easily and functionally.  Every bag out there had to be unbuttoned, unzipped, unvelcroed, etc. and this was not functional or easy for Hannah.

Soon after receiving her iPad I attended an Autism conference in St. Louis and the idea came to me of what is currently the CHAT Bag!  I sketched it out on paper and my mother in law, Sally, helped bring it to life.  I wanted Hannah to have a bag that allowed the screen exposed at all times, adjustable straps, and fun cool fabric!  Hannah was off and running with her iPad in her CHAT Bag. Problem solved!  However, people noticed Hannah’s bag and asked where she got it, and after several inquiries we noticed there was a need and a desire for others to have CHAT Bags.  We began our journey behind the scenes making CHAT Bags, bringing the website to life, patenting and trademarking the CHAT bag and CHAT name, etc.  CHAT Bag went online in January 2012 and has sold to several families in all of the US states and in 10 countries.

Why the name CHAT Bag?

Again, it is inspired by Hannah.  Hannah had her iPad to CHAT with us.  At first CHAT stood for Children Have A Tool.   Later in 2012, we decided to change it to a more universal logo/acronym because not just special needs individuals were using CHAT Bags.  Parents, teachers, students, business owners, and therapists were also using them.  Now we have our current logo and acronym – Communication Has A Tool.  Whether the iPad is a being used as an AAC device or for email, blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. we are always CHATting with others throughout our day!

Some Important Details

The bag is available in a variety of colors and patterns appropriate for people of all ages.  Here are a few examples of the patterns you can find on the website:

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The bag can also be ordered in a number of orientations:

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For an additional cost, the bags can be personalized with embroidered names.

The bags will fit over various protective cases, including the Otterbox Defender, Griffin Survivor, GumDrop and anything of comparable size.  Special orders, for example for smartphones, or other sized tablets or cases, or any other special requests/designs can be made by email chatbag@hotmail.com

You can check out examples of previous special requests here.

CHAT Bag is Patented.

CHAT is a Registered Trademark.

 

Check out the website for more ideas:  www.chatbag.net

Like us on Facebook:  CHAT Bag

Follow us on Twitter:  @chat_bag

CHAT via email:  chatbag@hotmail.com

Pinterest:  https://pinterest.com/chatbag

 

Enjoy!!

 

 

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