The iPad or other tablets are being targeted for use as electronic speech therapists. As the Wall Street Journal has recently reported, the power of a computer combined with a software program can help children who cannot express themselves verbally. One child named Caleigh uses colors on the iPad to tell her Mother she wants to go outside.
The unique set up of tablet PCs allows anyone who can touch a screen the ability to communicate their thoughts. This is done using a special program called Proloquo2Go. It is created by a company named AssistiveWare BV. The creators call the program a full featured communications solution for people who have difficulty speaking.
It sells for a large cut below the price of similar systems that are out there. There are other sources, such as Dynavox, that sell related systems that are much higher priced. The prices on others are from $2500 to $15,000 dollars. The higher end devices use the eye movements of those who are paralyzed to convey communication by selecting words on a screen. It requires more technology than the Proloquo2Go software.
These tablets PCs or smartphones do not have to be used by only children.Adults who have been debilitating accidents or health problems can use a tablet PC and software to regain some communication abilities. For example, after a heart attack and the subsequent stroke, a person may be handicapped in speaking. The tablet PC plus the Proloquo2Go software will be able to help them communicate with others while they recuperate.
One of the features of the tablet PC software is the voices that sound out words. For now there are only North American voices in male, female and children’s voices in the default version. British English voices can be downloaded to the tablet by using Proloquo2Go options and a wireless connection. Other languages are being planned for the text to voice section of the software.
Mobile is the name of the game with the iPad and its communication solution software. It can be taken in the car or on the plane, since the battery on some tablets last for seven hours or more. Some people just want to look cool with an iPad or an iPhone in front of their friends.
The icon set on the Proloquo2Go software help the handicapped to express basic needs. The software has comments, an “I need” category, an “I want” category, keyboard section, hello, goodbye, help, manners and more. The text to voice transcription is done by software from a company called Acapela Group. They provide their service from answering machines to web sites. The orally-handicapped children now can find their voice electronically.