The California Public Utilities Commission Wednesday launched an 18-month pilot program that will offer iPads loaded with speech applications to people who have difficulty speaking, via demonstration centers in San Diego and throughout the state.
An iPad with a speech application could make being understood easier and allow people with speech disabilities to speak independently, according to the CPUC.
Speech applications designed for iPads allow users to control an alternative voice by entering what they want to say onto the device. The result is voiced through speakers.
Under the program, Californians unable to speak or with difficulty speaking may borrow iPads with speech applications for up to a month to determine if using an iPad increases their ability to communicate.
If the user determines a speech app on the iPad works well for them, they may apply for a long-term loan of the device and their favorite speech app. Long-term loans require a verification of disability status by a designated professional, according to the agency.
iPads being used for the program are loaded with speech apps Go Talk NOW Plus, LAMP words for Life, Predictable, Proloquo4Text and TouchChat.
The pilot program is administrated by the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers, which has a location in Mission Valley, and funded through the CPUC’s Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program.
The foundation also has centers in Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Santa Ana and five other locations.
More information is available by phone at (800) 390-2699, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
–City News Service
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