Each page of the speakbook has 14 or 15 blank sections on which you can write your own text. In order that the user can move between the different pages, we have created the „home‟ page. This is found at the front of the book, and is marked with a black „HOME‟ tab at the edge of the page. The idea is that you write the 7 phrases you use the most on this page, as it is the page you always start on. Also, on 8 of the blank strips you write links to the other 8 blank double pages. These should be the parts of your life that require a more in depth set of phrases, these might be areas like bathtime, or going out in the car. On the left is an example of a possible layout for the „HOME‟ page. The 8 words in bold capital letters are links to double page spreads elsewhere in the book. What you do is, you find a blank page and write, for instance, „BED‟ on the edge tab, then on the strips you write the 14 phrases most relevant to your bedtime routine. Then you repeat this process for the other 7 links, until your book is full. If you make a mistake, or want to change a phrase, then just wipe it off with a damp cloth and start again.
To use the speakbook, you indicate to your partner that you want to communicate. Your partner opens the speakbook to the „HOME‟ page and you communicate, for example, „BED‟. Your partner then turns to the „BED‟ page and you can then communicate, „I want to go to bed‟ - or whatever. Each page has „HOME‟ and „SPELL‟ pre-printed on it. The „HOME‟ is so that you can can always get back to the „HOME‟ page (you might want a „Cup of tea !‟ to take to bed with you). The ‟SPELL‟ page allows you to spell out individual words and phrases that don‟t appear elsewhere in the book. It works in a similar way as the other pages, with one difference. On this page there are 6 coloured blocks, each with 6 coloured letters or numbers on it. The whole alphabet is there, plus numbers 1-9 (for zero use the letter O). You look at the letter you want to communicate, for a second or so, followed by the coloured block of the same colour as your chosen letter. Your partner follows your eyes, sees that you have looked at, for instance, the top left block followed by the top right block (which is green), and knows you want „C‟. Your partner says „C‟ out loud to confirm, and you move on to the next letter. Your partner guesses the rest of the word when possible, to speed the process up.
Speakbook has room for 119 phrases of your choosing. If this is not enough, or if you need more than 14 phrases in one particular section, then you can double its capacity by writing two phrases on each line, one in black pen, one in red. You choose a black phrase in the normal way, a red one by blinking when you look at the large symbol.