Those that claim that technology has replaced normal conversation may have a valid claim.
Facebook has virtually replaced the homey kitchen chat. An email is so much more convenient than a phone call. All that may be true but what if a mother of toddlers is incapable of that heart to heart talk in a neighbor’s kitchen. What if a more-than-average intelligent young man is incapable of doing more than sitting quietly during a family discussion. He has so many thoughts. So many opinions. And they just run around and around his head with no place to go. Why? Because he cannot speak. It may have been due to an accident, perhaps a stroke or abnormal development from birth. For him, technology has not replaced speech. It has created it.
Those of us who converse all day, even when we shouldn’t, cannot imagine the frustration of having so much to say and not being able to say it. And for the child, it is a nightmare. Too immature to understand his situation, he cannot compensate. In the words of a nine-year-old regarding his six-year-old brother: He understands everything and has feelings just like we all do! More vital, his natural development is impeded as communication plays a great role in all development.
To meet this essential need, Ezer Mizion’s VOCA (Voice Output Communication Aids) Division loans hi-tech equipment to families dealing with a member incapable of speech. The equipment is costly and donations from all over the world have helped Ezer Mizion to provide the latest apps on the market to those that need them.
TouchChat applications for Alternative and Augmentative Communication is designed for individuals with Autism, Down Syndrome, ALS, apraxia, stroke, or other conditions that affect a person’s ability to use natural speech. The app will further upgrade the range of options that are available to bring the gift of communication to people who are speech impaired.
This novel application using iPads and iPhones is now available in Hebrew. The inauguration of TouchChat Hebrew apps will take place on February 19 at Beit Hatfutzot Hall, Gate 2, Tel Aviv University. The event will feature Dave Hershberger, developer of TouchChat. http://touchchatapp.com
Yonit Hagoel Karnieli, Director of Ezer Mizion’s VOCA Lending Center, will present practical usage of the TouchChat application at the event. Ezer Mizion warmly endorses this up-to-the-minute technology.