A device holding electronically stored speech specifically designed to enable individuals without natural speech to communicate. Speech is stored either digitally or via a speech synthesizer. These can be used by learners who would not otherwise be able to communicate. There is a range of VOCAs available; some are dedicated communication devices while others are laptop computers with specialist software installed. Frequently computer‐based devices are programmed to include additional features such as an environmental control system. How the device is accessed is dependent on the needs of the user and can be via direct touch, specialist switches, light pointers, or infrared sensors. See also augmentative and alternative communication.