Being able to speak is something that most people take for granted, but for those living with conditions such as locked in syndrome, cerebral palsy, strokes, autism, Rett syndrome, Angelman syndrome or motor neurone disease, speech can be significantly impaired.
Examples of assistive technologies that can make communication possible
Eye Gaze systems open up the world of communication for people with severe physical disabilities by enabling them to access a computer. These high-tech systems have an inbuilt camera which tracks where your eyes are looking, enabling you to move the mouse pointer around. You can ‘click’ by blinking, dwelling (staring at the screen for a certain length of time) or using a switch.
Examples of Assistive Augmentation Communication (AAC) Software
Proloquo2Go is an application for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices that provide a “voice” for people with no speech or who have difficulty speaking.
Professionals have found Proloquo2Go to be a proven, cost-effective communication solution with extreme ease of customization and use for children and adults who have no speech or who have difficulty speaking as a result of conditions that they were born with (eg cerebral palsy, autism, apraxia, developmental disabilities) or conditions that came later in life (eg ALS, stroke, traumatic brain injury), but have the physical capability to access the device.
Go Talk Now is a customizable tool for iPads that can be used with children as young as 5 who have difficulty speaking. It gives non-verbal people a voice, enabling them to grow with their communication needs and abilities. Being able to use text-to-speech, videos, and music offers them many ways to express themselves.
Being able to read is also something that most of us take for granted, but for those living with visual impairment, that is not the case.
Examples of assistive technologies that can make reading possible
OrCam MyEye reads any printed text, on any surface, including newspapers, books, computer screens, restaurant menus, labels on supermarket products, and street signs, instantly relaying it to the user through a built-in mini speaker.
MyEye also recognizes stored faces of individuals and identifies consumer products. MyReader focuses on the revolutionary text-to-speech functionality, activated by simply pointing your finger or pressing a button.
Prodigi Duo is the first HD digital magnifier that is both a desktop and portable tablet. The unique Personal Vision Assistant that incorporates both a table-top magnifier and a hand-held magnifier in one easy-to-use package. It switches from reading documents to listening to them, with the tap of a finger. And it stores photos and documents to take on the road. Text can be magnified indefinitely without compromising image quality.
Eye-Pal SOLO is the world’s first reading appliance. It enhances independence and enriches lives by reading aloud almost anything printed: books, newspapers, prescriptions, mail etc. It is simple to use enabling anyone who is blind or visually impaired to easily “read” the content of any printed text by listening.