The father of a five year old boy born with a rare genetic disorder that delays the development of speech has designed a new iPad app that aims to help the speechless communicate.
The app is called VerbalVictor, and it was designed by Paul Pauca and some of his students at the Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, who have turned iOS devices into a sound board that can be used by those without speech to communicate their needs.
The idea’s fairly simple. VerbalVictor allows parents and caregivers to equate picture icons with corresponding, customizable recorded phrases. In the case of Victor Pauca, the speechless child after whom the app was named, a picture of the backyard would, when tapped, play the message “I want to go out and play.”
Paul Pauca was driven to create the app after noting that many of the existing tools to facilitate communication with a special needs child were either paper cutouts or exploitatively priced. VerbalVictor, which will be available on the App Store this week, will cost only $10.