Research aimed at helping people with autism

 The TalkPad system is an application developed by our team to facilitate the communication of autistic people who are non-verbal or have speaking difficulties. TalkPad is a software-based speech prosthesis for tablet computers facilitating the communication of autistic people who are non-verbal or have speaking difficulties.

 TalkPad has been created as a spin-off of MObile SlateTalker (MOST), a versatile assistive software for the blind and nearly blind. A special mask (similar to that for the MOST systems) placed over the device's touch screen helps TalkPads usage on Android tablets. We have witnessed first with the pupils of Klára Pataki, an acclaimed special education teacher working with autistic children the way very sensible but non-verbal autistic children could speak by assisted communication. We have created our first talking tablet on her request. TalkPad's first version ran on a Windows Mobile PDA with a resistive screen. It took us by surprise that a young autistic girl could immediately use it. A later version running on a larger tablet with a capacitive screen was apparently easier to operate with fingertaps. An optional mask placed over the screen reduces or eliminates the occurences of misplaced fingertaps and typos. TalkPad provides a multilevel speech echoing (verbal feedback) and a logging service. On demand, a later, 7-inch version was developed to suite the need for faster (more responsive) assisted real-time speech.

 The TalkPad app is free of charge. Manufacturing costs must be paid for an optional special screen mask.

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