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New Device Allows Disabled Children To Communicate With Others

Scottish scientists have come up with an innovative technology that enables children with communication problems to hold conversations easily, it has been revealed.

The new software system of its own kind, dubbed as “How was school today?”, has been tailored to help kids with communication disabilities, such cerebral palsy, to communicate better and in a more interactive manner with their parents and carers.

Devised by a group of scientists from Dundee and Aberdeen universities, in conjunction with the charity Capability Scotland, the system includes sensors, swipe cards, and recording devices attached to wheel chairs, with all these devices collect information about the kid's experiences at school.

The information so gathered is subsequently transformed into a narrative by a computer, which conveys the story in natural languages to parents when the kid returns home.

Dr Ehud Reiter, from Aberdeen University's natural and computing sciences, and one of the project leader, said in a statement, “A lot of children can be very limited to using 'yes' or 'no', or very simple pictures, or phrases such as 'I'm hungry'. This allows them much richer conversations, which is great for them and for their parents”.

The software system has already been trialled successfully by the students at Corseford School in Renfrewshire.

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Our Comments

A great example of how technology can be used to improve the lives of those who were unlucky in life. Although it is still limited in what it can do for now, the software system can be used as a benchmark for mass manufacturing solutions aimed at making the daily living of many around the world better.

Related Links

Software 'helps disabled children'

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Software will help disabled children to communicate with their carers

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How was school today? Now disabled pupils can tell the story

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Device offers hope to children with communication problems

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Software 'gives children a voice'

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.