October 7th, 2011
Americans Recall Personal Impacts of Jobs’ Vision: For Paul Pauca, admiration for Apple innovations goes beyond technology. They enabled him to help his disabled son. Pauca, a computer science professor at Wake Forest University, and some of his students developed a $10 app for the iPad and iPhone last year called VerbalVictor. It helps his young son, Victor, and others with severe disabilities communicate. The program was designed after the Paucas had a series of disappointments with specialized devices intended for people with disabilities. Pauca’s son, Victor, was born with a rare genetic disease shared only by about 50 other people in the U.S. It delays speech, among other skills. The app allows his parents to snap pictures and record phrases to go with them, which in turn become “buttons” on the touch screen. An example would be a picture of a playground paired with the phrase “I want to go out and play,”If it wasn’t for Steve Jobs, this wouldn’t be possible,” Pauca said. “For people with disabilities, the iPad, the iPhone, the App Store — it was really a revolution.” His son now brings an iPod Touch and iPad to school every day so he can communicate with the teachers and fellow students at his school.