Children have been using Avaz extensively till now, and it is an extremely successful AAC intervention for children with autism. Although Avaz allows for extensive literacy development in children with autism, there were still a few situations that were not addressed by this app. Namely, children with speech and developmental conditions using the app were found to struggle with word orderings and abstraction. So it is simple to identify and learn a word that denotes ‘eat’ but when it becomes ‘I want to eat’ – it becomes problematic – for how do you visually represent ‘to’? Additionally, children struggle with understanding word order, and how different sequences of words have different meanings.
A need to address these issues is what gave birth to the idea of Avaz FreeSpeech. FreeSpeech is a way of representing ideas visually, and a way of converting the representation into perfectly grammatical, meaningful English (or any other language). Instead of stringing words together as sentences, you can use Avaz FreeSpeech to create maps of images, to represent ideas in a completely language-independent way.
A TED talk describing FreeSpeech recently went online at TED.com! – www.ted.com/talks/ajit_narayanan_a_word_game_to_communicate_in_any_language
. Do check it out and let us know what you think.
We’ve been developing prototypes of Free Speech and a first look of the tool will be out at the end of this year. We are currently working with special schools in India to trial FreeSpeech and establish its clinical efficacy. If you are a researcher working with children with special needs and would like to have access to Avaz Free Speech for research purposes, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
admin April 10th, 2014
Posted In: Blog