“VERBALLY”-‘The new voice of the DUMB’ By Manisha Manoharan

“Verbally”, an ingenious new Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) aid launched by Intuary, on May 18,2011, previously added to the iTunes app store of the iPad in March this year, has carved out a niche for itself in providing effective functional and interactive communication to  people with speech disabilities, and thereby, ameliorating the diabolic conditions faced by them while trying to establish full interpersonal communications and social closeness and in removing the hurdles to developing their potential for education, employment and independence.
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Verbally is an easy-to-use, unique application that can be used in any setting. Moreover, it is gobsmacking to note that this application can be downloaded free of cost from the iTunes app store and the usage of Verbally requires absolutely no internet connectivity. Using Verbally is so easy that it requires the user to simply use a finger or a stylus to tap a sentence or a phrase into the textbox of the iPad  and then tap ‘speak’.

This text-to-speech application uses three distinguished features, viz-

  • The Core Words Grid which offers over 50 essential words and saves over 50% of the taps required to input the user’s sentences
  • The Core Phrases Grid which offers a set of commonly used phrases that assist in faster and easier modes of conversation
  • Text Prediction which stores words and names that the user enters and enables faster typing

These features have been designed to minimize the usage of keystrokes vis-à-vis the language representation modules in basic AAC aids for people with speech disabilities.

Verbally comes with 3 exquisite keyboard layouts: Horizontal-QWERTY, Left handed-ABCD and Right handed-ABCD,  that the user can choose from, and has one male and female voice settings. More voices are expected to be offered in the upcoming versions from which the user can choose and customize based on his requirements.

Verbally per se works well with literate children and adults and is high-on- demand for patients with speech disabilities caused by apraxia, Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS, stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s and muscular dystrophy.

In the world of burgeoning innovations aiming at providing personal and social competency to people with speech disabilities, Verbally proves to be a quintessential application and a sure-fire in the near future. After all, it’s a laudable effort at making speech disabled people communicate and express themselves easily, effectively, and verbally.


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