Vol 19, No 3 – Handheld Speech Generating Devices

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Vol 19, No 3 – Handheld Speech Generating Devices

TechnoTalkN e w s l e t t e rVOLUME 19 - ISSUE 3 - MAY 2010From the editor’s deskThe world of technology seemsto be constantly growing, butalso getting smaller at the sametime. There are now manyhandheld options for speechgenerating devices available inthe market, making voice outputcommunication more readilyavailable and portable for userswho are mobile. The TASC speechpathologists have put together ahandy comparison table of featuresfor you. Users do need to havegood fine motor skills, or the abilityto use a stylus to access thesedevices, so we recommend triallingbefore you buy.We are excited at TASC aboutthe developments in low costcommunication software forcommercial devices such as theNintendo DS and Apple iTouchand iPhone. We are also eagerlyawaiting the arrival of the iPad inAustralia and can’t wait to checkout the potential for people withdisabilities to access a huge rangeof free and low cost applications forcommunication, reading, writing,organisation, maths, music, gamesand art the list is ever growing.Watch this space and hopefullyby the next edition we will have areview for you.Happy ReadingLizaAssistive Technology TrainingDid you know that The Spastic Centre is aRegistered Training Organisation?It has an extensive professional developmentTraining Calendar which is open to externaltherapists.TASC runs several sessions in the calendar to help therapistsdevelop competencies in assistive technology assessment,prescription, intervention and fitting.Sessions of interest for the rest of 2010 include:• Device and switch mounting half day workshop 1st July• Switching half day workshop 1st July• Seating and positioning 2 day workshop 11th - 12th October• Powered mobility full day workshop 13th October• Introduction to assistive technology full day workshop 9th NovemberFor more information and to book for any of the sessions,check out the Training Calendar at www.thespasticcentre.org.au/services/consultancy-actionpact/consultancies-actionpact.htmTechnology Training ......................................................1Handheld Speech Devices ............................................2Communication Apps ....................................................5We welcome any feedback, good or bad, that you may have on our service. Please feel free to contact usby phone on 02 9975 8469, email tasc@tscnsw.org.au or by writing to The Spastic Centre PO Box 184 Brookvale NSW 2100TechnoTalk Newsletter is free and available from www.TheSpasticCentre.com.au/news/technotalk/


TechnoTalkHandheld Speech Generating Devicesby Alana Bain and Angela VassAs technology continues to develop andimprove, there have been advances in speechgenerating devices and technology. In recentyears, we have seen an increase in theintroduction of handheld speech generatingdevices. The devices are dynamic, meaning thatthe touch-screen will change according to whichbutton has been activated. There are now alsosoftware applications which can be purchasedfor commercially available (non disabilityspecific) devices such as the iPhone, iTouch, iPadand Nintendo DS.Handheld devices are suitable for people whoneed a small, portable and compact dynamicdevice and are able to direct access (point) oruse a stylus. They can be used for phrase-basedcommunication, sentence construction and textto-speech.Most of the devices are able to storeand use photos and symbols.The following table provides an overview of thehandheld devices currently available. The pricesgiven are current from April 2010, but pleasecheck with the supplier for exact prices.The communication software on the devicesallows pages to be specifically designed to suitthe user’s needs. Many of the devices alsocome with pre-programmed page sets designedfor communication that can be individualised.So, although these devices have many similarfeatures, the software and pre-programmedpage sets require careful consideration. Forexample, some of the page sets are moresuitable for sentence construction or text-tospeechrather than phrase-basedcommunication. Therefore, it is important todetermine the communication needs andpreferences of the user to determine the mostappropriate system.ChatPC Silk(StandardModel)ChatPCSilk+Say-it! SAMTellusSmartProloquo2Go oniPhone /iTouchTapToTalkonNintendoDS oriPhone /iTouchDynaVoxXpressAltChatSpringboardLiteDiamensions (approx) Speech OutputSynthesisedAcapelaNeoSpeechLoquendoSize:8.3cm x14.2cm x4.1cm withprotectivecaseWeight 350gScreen: 10cm(diagonal)SynthesisedAcapelaNeoSpeechLoquendoSize:8.3cm x14.2cm x4.1cm withprotectivecaseWeight: 350gScreen: 10cm(diagonal)SynthesisedDECtalkNeoSpeechSize:16.5cm x8.9cm x4.8cmWeight: 397gScreen:8.9cm(diagonal)SynthesisedAustralianReal SpeakDigitised:Approx 9hoursSize:14.6cm x8.2cm x2.7cm (min)to 3.4cm(max)Weight: 340gScreen:10.1cm(diagonal)SynthesisedAcapelaSize iPhone:11.6cm x6.2cm x1.2cmWeight: 135gScreen:8.9cm(diagonal)SynthesisedAmericanmale voiceonlySizeNintendoDS:14.9cm x8.5cm x2.9cmWeight:300gScreen:7.92cm(diagonal)SynthesisedAustralianReal SpeakAT&T NaturalVoicesAcapelaLoquendoMicrosoftEnglishVoicesSize:15.2cm x10.2cm x4.4cmWeight: 1.1kgScreen:12.7cm(diagonal)SynthesisedAcapelaNeoSpeechLoquendoSize:18.5cm x18.5cm x4.6cmWeight:1.3kgScreen:18cm(diagonal)DigitisedSize:18.5cm x18.5cm x4.6cmWeight:1.3kgScreen:18cm(diagonal)2


TechnoTalkChatPC Silk(StandardModel)ChatPCSilk+Say-it! SAMTellusSmartProloquo2Go oniPhone /iTouchTapToTalkonNintendoDS oriPhone /iTouchDynaVoxXpressAltChatSpringboardLiteDiamensions (approx)continued...Size iTouch:11cm x 6.1cmx 0.9cmWeight: 115gScreen:8.9cm(diagonal)Size iPhone:11.6cm x 6.2cm x 1.2cmWeight:135gScreen8.9cm(diagonal)Size iTouch:11cm x 6.1cmx 0.9cmWeight: 115gScreen:8.9cm(diagonal)Pre-programmed Communication PageSets- 3 simplesentencebuilding- 1Grammaticalcore (text +symbols)- 1 text-tospeech(nowordprediction)- 3 simplesentencebuilding- 1Grammaticalcore (text +symbols)- 1 text-tospeech(withwordprediction)- 1 phrasebased- 4 simplesentencebuilding-2 phrasebased- 3 text-tospeech- Phrasebased- Phrasebased- Phrasebased- Phrasebased+sentencebuilding(symbol +text)- Phrasebased+sentencebuilding(text)- 3 simplesentencebuilding- 1Grammaticalcore (text +symbols)- 1Grammaticalcore vocab(text-based)- 1 text-tospeech(withwordprediction)- Simple coresentencebuilding(based onMinspeak)Grammaticalcore(Minspeak)PCS optionavailableText-toSpeechYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesRate EnhancementNoYes Letterprediction WordpredictionAbbreviationexpansionYes Letterprediction WordpredictionAbbreviationexpansionYes Letterprediction WordpredictionAbbreviationexpansionYes LetterpredictionNoYes Wordprediction PhasepredictionYes Letterprediction WordpredictionAbbreviationexpansionNoAccess MethodDirect touchscreenaccessDirect touchscreenaccessDirect touchscreenaccessDirect touchscreenaccess andscanningDirect touchscreenaccessDirect touchscreenaccessDirect touchscreenaccess andscanning(visual andauditory)Direct touchscreenaccess andscanningDirect touchscreenaccess,scanning,head-mouse,joystick3


TechnoTalkChatPC Silk(StandardModel)ChatPCSilk+Say-it! SAMTellusSmartProloquo2Go oniPhone /iTouchTapToTalkonNintendoDS oriPhone /iTouchDynaVoxXpressAltChatSpringboardLiteBatteryApprox 10hoursApprox 10hoursApprox 10hoursApprox 8hoursUp to 30hoursNintendo:10-14hrsiPhone /iTouch:up to 30hrsApprox 8hours5-7 hours5-7 hoursComputer BasedEditing SoftwareYesYesYesYesNoNoYesYesYesOther FeaturesAccess topocketversions ofMicrosoftWord andotherMicrosoft CEapplicationsAccess topocketversions ofMicrosoftWord andotherMicrosoft CEapplicationsAccess topocketversions ofMicrosoftWord andotherMicrosoft CEapplicationsAccess topocketversions ofMicrosoftWord andotherMicrosoft CEapplicationsiPhone andiTouchsoftware andapplicationsavailableNinendo:GamesiPhone andiTouch:softwareandapplicationsEnvironmentalControlInternetaccessCalenderMP3 PlayerNoneEnviromentalControlComputeraccessMP3 PlayerVideo playerSupplierLiberatorLiberatorTechnabilityZyteqTechnabilityNovitaTechSpectronicsIndependentSpectronicsprovide asupportpackageIndependentSpectronicsLiberatorLiberatorPrice (approx)$4,995.00$5,995.00$4,675 .00- $5,485.00$6,125.00(Changeswithcommercialmarket)Approx:$239.99iPhone:from $719.00iTouch:$268.00Speakersrequired foriTouch/iPhoneSpeakers:$66.00(iMainGo)(Changeswithcommercialmarket)Approx:$99.00 peryearNintendoDS:from $179.00iPhone:from $719.00iTouch:$268.00Speakersrequired foriTouch/iPhoneSpeakers:$66.00(iMainGo)$13,749.00$5,995.00$3,295.00Information and pictures sourced from:NovitaTech www.novitatech.org.auSpectronics www.spectronics.com.auTechnability www.technability.com.auLiberator www.liberator.net.auZyteq www.zyteq.com.auPlease note a new handheld device has just entered themarket post development of this article called the Jive! Moreinformation about this device can be found at www.tecsol.com.au/Jive.htm. A comparison section about this device will beincluded in the next TechnoTalk Issue.4

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