When Kevin Beverley was in his mid-thirties, he was attacked and beaten in an unprovoked fight. His injuries were so severe that he was left paralyzed on the right side of his body and he hasn’t been able to speak for 20 years. Thanks to a speech app on the iPad, Beverley can now communicate with others using more than just grunts and gestures. “At last, someone can hear me,” were his first words.
Staff at the Carlton Day Care Centre in his hometown discovered the free Grid Player app, which is an Alternative and Augmentative Communications (AAC) app that helps people who can’t speak, or who have unclear speech. It allows the user to create sentences that are spoken out loud.
Beverley’s cousin and caregiver Elaine Sexton said it was “absolutely fantastic” to converse with him after so long. She said the family couldn’t wait to find out more about him. “It’s brilliant, it brings him out of himself and we’ll have the chance to get to know him better,” Sexton said. “It’s definitely going to make his quality of life better knowing that he can communicate with us.”
Carlton Day Care Centre service manager Ray Riley said Beverley took an immediate interest in the iPad when they introduced it to him. “We’re able to communicate with him in a way he’s never been able to communicate before,” said Riley. “I think Kevin feels empowered, I think he feels useful, as though he can do things.”
The free AAC Grid Player app is available in the App Store. It is designed to work for a wide range of people with communication difficulties, including cerebral palsy, motor-neuron disease, autism, apraxia, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and deafness. Thanks to AAC programs like these, people around the world are able to communicate with others.
[Via: The Yorkshire Post]