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Tzvi Schectman
BY Tzvi Schectman

Genuine children’s voices now used in Proloquo2Go

Meet Josh and Ella, the first American genuine, natural-sounding children’s voices are now available in Proloquo2Go an app for the iPad and iPhone that is designed to provide a voice for children who cannot speak.

The children’s voices, Josh and Ella, were recorded by and for children. Users can select the authentic boy or girl as their preferred Text to Speech voice to speak a want, need or thought using symbol-based communication or typing with word-prediction. The voices are included in the Proloquo2Go App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch through a new free 2.1 version update released recently on the App Store.

“It is a really exciting advancement in the field of augmentative and alternative communication to finally have excellent, natural-sounding voices for young children,” said Joan Bruno, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Director, Communication Technology Resources.

Proloquo2Go already provides a voice to tens of thousands of users around the world. About 60% of the Proloquo2Go user base is 11-years-old or younger (as young as 2-years-old), yet prior to these new voices, children could only select adult voices or artificially emulated children’s voices. This was one of the primary motivators for creating the child voices – to have a product that more accurately represents its users.

“We have already received positive feedback from children and their parents that the unique voice offering in Proloquo2Go makes a positive difference in how they communicate,” said David Niemeijer, founder and CEO of AssistiveWare. “Often, we hear that the cognitive and emotional skills of children are finally understood because prior to using Proloquo2Go, the child may have never been able to verbalize or express his or her thoughts. We are excited that those phrases will finally resemble the child’s own voice.”

Voices will be available for all developers

After December 2012, these new voices will be available for licensing to other developers to utilize in their apps and communication devices, allowing even more children to access programs with voices that resemble their own.

About Proloquo2Go

Proloquo2Go is a full-featured augmentative and alternative communication solution for autistic children who have difficulty speaking. Easy to set up and use it provides natural sounding text-to-speech voices, high resolution up-to-date symbols, powerful automatic conjugations, a default vocabulary of over 7,000 items and is fully expandable. The app is very easy for individuals with special needs to navigate through the menus. It has a  beautiful graphic display and great voice quality

The Proloquo2Go App is available for $189.99 from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch or at Version 2.1 includes the new American children voices as free downloads and is available at no charge to existing users.

You can learn more about this update from the New York Times, All Things D,GigaOm, Marketplace and from the Assistiveware website.

Tzvi Schectman

Written on July 27, 2012 by:

Tzvi Schectman is the Family Coordinator for the Friendship Circle of Michigan and the Editor of the the Friendship Circle Blog. You can connect with Tzvi on LinkedIn and Google+

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