Dysphasia is a language disorder caused by brain damage, often as the result of a stroke, and most frequently occurs in people over 60. Many potential users of communication aids are still active and need more powerful, flexible communication devices than those currently available. The Portable Communication Assistant (PCA) will provide functional communication which can be integrated into speech and language therapy. It is a hand-held computer with inbuilt touch screen, speech recording, playback and communication technologies. Software complying with emerging industrial standards will ensure an extensible modular product able to integrate with other rehabilitation systems and accommodate future developments. A user-centered approach will empower users and therapists to control the development process themselves.