January 4th, 2011
Father’s App Lets Disabled Son ‘Speak’ Thru iPad: Victor Pauca will have plenty of presents to unwrap on Christmas, but the 5-year-old Winston-Salem boy has already received the best gift he’ll get this year: the ability to communicate. Victor has a rare genetic disorder that delays development of a number of skills, including speech. To help him and others with disabilities, his father, Paul, and some of his students at Wake Forest University have created an application for the iPhone and iPad that turns their touch screens into communications tools. The VerbalVictor app allows parents and caregivers to take pictures and record phrases to go with them. These become “buttons” on the screen that Victor touches when he wants to communicate. A picture of the backyard, for example, can be accompanied by a recording of a sentence like “I want to go outside and play.” When Victor touches it, his parents or teachers know what he wants to do.