5g. Examples of Opportunities and Open Licences

Updated by Global Symbols with UNICEF ECARO

Open licences offer many opportunities including:

  • Resilience - If a commercial company ceases trading all of its resources can be lost. Open projects by nature are protected.
  • Free to end user - The cost of commercial solutions excludes millions of people globally. End users do not pay for open source software
  • Prevention of Lockout - Open approaches are invested in community, so they make it much easier to localise, translate and customise.
  • Shared Risk - Happens across communities so on the whole it is easier to support cultural nuances


However, it is important to understand the challenges and risks that may make one consider other options such as:

  • Hardware - Open software is easy, open hardware much harder – there will be a delay in catching up.
  • Cultural -The people who make open source software aren’t always the people who work with AAC users.
  • Legal - The legal status of open software for ‘medical’ reasons is undefined – different in every country and the approval systems make it harder to allow for open ‘fast iteration’ approaches.
  • Dilemma for specialist providers of AAC software and hardware - Those supporting the most complex AAC cases are an important part of the ecosystem and must not be lost