A speech generating device for kids with autism.

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Augmentative Assistive Comunication (AAC) Device for preliterate individuals with speech/language delay. Touch an icon on the screen to generate a spoken word.

The challenge: Many kids with autism have difficulty using spoken language to communicate. High tech assistive devices are available but they can be very expensive.

How this project addresses the problem: Making available a low-cost, open source version of the high-tech speech generating devices used in speech therapy for children with autism.

This project might be world changing: When I bought a speech generating device for my son, the sticker price was over $6,000 USD. It was difficult for us to acquire this expensive piece of medical equipment and required the generosity and help of many people to make it possible. Even though we now have the device, we do not take it everywhere because of concern of possible breakage or loss. Imagine a world where every child with language delay had a portable speech generating device that was inexpensive enough to be treated like toy! These devices would also be based on open source designs, so parents and autistic individuals themselves could repair or customize their device!

Use of this device consists of

  1. Touch screen
  2. Swipe to see next icon
  3. Press icon
  4. Hear spoken word

Touchscreen Options

  1. Resistive touch
    1. advantages: lower cost, 10 years of documentation, dictates simplicity of user interface design
    2. disadvantages: cannot swipe?, requires stylus?, frustrating for kids?
  2. Capacitive touch
    1. design considerations: power consumption, noise reduction, gesture recognition
    2. can arduino mouse library drive capacitive touchscreen?

Possible implementations

  1. Arduino
    1. microprocessor
    2. flash memory
    3. media assets
    4. interface
    5. touchscreen
    6. speaker
    7. battery
  2. Raspberry Pi
    1. microprocessor
    2. operating system
    3. database
    4. media assets
    5. server
    6. client
    7. interface
    8. touchscreen
    9. speaker
    10. battery

  • 1 × raspberry pi Used according to rapberry pi terms of use.

  • 1

    Install Django on the raspberry pi.

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Muriel Green wrote 6 days ago point

Thanks Haydn! This is along the lines of what I was thinking for my first generation version of the device! Eventually I want to make a version that runs MaryTTS, but maybe not for this contest.

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haydn jones wrote 6 days ago point

An easy setup could be to use the pi with the official touchscreen and load straight into a web browser, and make the interface in html so it is a web site stored on the pi. You could even go on to and pay someone $5 to read a list of words for you :)

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