The California Public Utilities Commission Wednesday launched a pilot program in which iPads loaded with speech applications will be offered to people with speech difficulties, via demonstration centers in the Southland and elsewhere in 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 18-month 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 and funded through the CPUC’s Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program.
The foundation has centers in Anaheim, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, San Bernardino, San Diego and five other locations in California.
More information is available by phone at (800) 390-2699, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
–City News Service
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