AlphaTopics AAC app to improve communication for slurred speech

February 23, 2015 in Medical (E)

[] Vancouver, Canada - Tactus Therapy Solutions, a trusted developer of apps for speech therapy rehabilitation, has just launched a brand new app called AlphaTopics. AlphaTopics is an augmentative communication (AAC) app aimed at people with slurred or unclear speech (dysarthria) and language difficulties (aphasia) from stroke, traumatic brain injury, ALS, Parkinson's disease, and cerebral palsy.

The app works by bringing an alphabet board and a topic board together in one application with all the benefits of technology: sound, visual feedback, adaptable settings, and portability. The speaker simply touches the topic they want to talk about, and then touches the first letter of each word they say. AlphaTopics lets the person with unclear speech speak naturally while giving the conversation partner enough context to understand better. With AlphaTopics, there's no more spelling out whole words or fixing typos. And, less waiting for the listener means the conversation keeps moving along.

Pointing to the first letter of each word not only gives the listener more information about the word, it also encourages the speaker to slow down and separate words, actually making each word clearer. Intelligibility of sentences is reported to improve 25% on average when using an alphabet board. Pointing to the topic before speaking narrows the range of possibilities for the listener, providing context. Studies show that using a topic cue increases word understanding by an average of 28%.

With AlphaTopics, the listener can hear the letters or topic selected. This means they can stay focused on the speaker and the conversation instead of staring at the device. Communication is faster and clearer using this simple speech supplementation strategy. Previously, people with speech difficulties had to rely on paper-based boards that easily became ratty and worn out. Now, with AlphaTopics, the functionality of both an alphabet board and a topic board are always available on an iPhone or iPad in one convenient and customizable app.

The features of the alphabet board include:
* 26 letters in alphabetical order or 2 variations of frequency order
* 10 single digits to express any number
* Vowels are highlighted and aligned for faster navigation
* Natural speech reads out the name of each letter, number, or word
* Yes, no, question, smiley, space, and backspace buttons

The features of the topic board include:
* Fully customizable text that can be can re-ordered
* Voice output with adjustable speech rate
* Two sizes of grid to display 12 or 24 topics
* Pre-filled with functional topics for adults

Additional features include adjustable settings for visual, physical, language and cognitive impairments; a choice of four color schemes; and the option to pick which board comes up when the app starts.

AlphaTopics AAC was developed in a live event, with a blog chronicling each step of the process.

AlphaTopics is the fourteenth app developed by Tactus Therapy Solutions to support people who have difficulty communicating ideas with others. Tactus Therapy is proud to add AlphaTopics as their first AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) app to their line-up of existing therapy apps, serving people of all ages with communication disorders.

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
* Requires iOS 7.0 or later
* 2.7 MB

Pricing and Availability:
As a special introductory offer, AlphaTopics 1.0 is priced at $2.99 USD throughout February and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Medical category. In March the price will revert to the regular value price of $4.99 USD.

Tactus Therapy Solutions provides quality apps for speech therapy for speech-language pathologists and people of all ages with communication difficulties. All Material and Software (C) Copyright 2015 Tactus Therapy Solutions. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other trademarks and registered trademarks may be the property of their respective owners.


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