One Swallow – not equal to – Summer
There you are – one solitary swallow! and it has taken a real chilly turn today … brrrr
Yesterday was so different; the light was warm and bright so this sycamore flower, complete with the little baby seed heads, was beautifully lit. Today the sky was flat and cold.
So I didn’t go far today – what have I been up to? Well I have done some design stuff for Project TickTock – that is more like playtime than work but it is coming along.
For my online course I have been doing research and part of that involved looking at Apps. These are just some of the many, many ways in which mHealth is already with us on our mobile phones. Counting the carbs we eat, recording a personal health records, getting reminded to take our pills, taking our pulse, getting information about symptoms and how to get help … and so the list goes on.
However there is one App I am really taken with. Imagine for a moment that you are not able to speak – how would you let those around you know what you wanted?
Well you might – if you have a hearing impairment – have been taught sign language. Okay but does everyone learn to read sign language? well no we don’t. What about if you have Aphasia (this can arise as an outcome or complication of several conditions including stroke or Motor Neurone Disease for example). Maybe you can not speak at all or maybe you have difficulty putting the words in the right order or remembering some of them?
There are many reasons why a person may no longer be able to use verbal communication and it can be very distressing for them when they are not understood. There is a whole field of therapy and support around this called Augmentative & Alternative Communication – bit of a mouthful if you have no verbal communication – but it is often shortened to AAC). SO I found an App called Grid Player – not realising what it was going to offer.
It is an AAC system for iPhone (and other devices) and comes with four standard boards. The user chooses from the blocks to form words and sentences which can be spoken by either a female or a male voice. This example shows three segments, the first two from a different board and then I have pressed the “help me please” button to add the last question.
In itself that is an exciting discovery – I can communicate verbally but what would I do if someone tried to communicate in sign language and I couldn’t understand? Now I can get the iPhone out and ask them to tell me this way. It is straightforward and would not be difficult for someone to use even without practice.
But what is most exciting is that a piece of software can be downloaded to a PC and new grids can be programmed. The software is well priced and will be something I will consider purchasing later on so that I can develop personalised grids for my customers when the ATTIC comes to fruition. Before that though I will be looking into getting the software and a couple of tablet devices at the community hub at Tick Tock – imagine being able to fully involve someone with Aphasia in community meetings where they can express their own views instead of needing a translator?