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.IMG_2192

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?


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About nonehpets

I have an interest in how interior design and adapting a home to support living independently for longer can be complementary. The blog Life Long Design is part of an holistic plan for establishing a social enterprise which will offer the people of Tayside opportunities to explore Telecare and the wider scope of assistive technologies. Enabling individuals to make more informed and responsible choices in the care and support they need in their independent living. I am also keen to see public transport more widely adopted and sustainable rural bus services in particular supported. The Blog Travels with a Megarider shares my journey to find serenity in my life as I make that transition form employment to social entrepreneur. One of my methods in increasing serenity is to travel as many miles as I can on a fixed price bus ticket and explore my own local places of interest. Places that I used to go past and had never stopped to look at; places of peace and tranquility; places where I have had some wonderful conversations with complete strangers. I would like to share with you a response to when I described that one paragraph in an e-mail made it sound simple: "Believe me, Cathy, it does not sound simple. You are taking on an incredible challenge for all the right reasons. It is ambitious and admirable - the sort of project that can change lives, including yours." He is right it is ambitious but when did we every achieve anything by settling for the status quo and ignoring what doesn't work for people? So I would welcome your company from time to time on this journey either simply as a reader or if you are brave enough adding your own thoughts to the comments as you feel moved.

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