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Team creates app inspired by family member who lost her ability to speak

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2019-10-03 12:34

About the solution

Verbally has the aim of helping users with speech disabilities by allowing them to tap the words they wish to communicate onto the app’s keyboard, or choose from pre-prepared words or phrases, which are then in turn transmitted into audio phrases.

They were inspired by their mother (and aunt) Nirmala, who lost her voice as a side effect of ALS. Nirmala had been a music teacher for 40 years, and in 2009, her voice began to fail.

When Ajay went to the market to look solutions, he realised the options available were too expensive.

“When my cousins, Anil and Gautam Godhwani, saw the impact that the loss of communication was having on their mother, they asked me to help them to research the available products. Our research revealed expensive options with lengthy wait-times for delivery. Because ALS is a degenerative disease, the delay was even more frustrating than the cost. Our aggravation grew as we started to use one of the products with Auntie and found it hard to learn, cumbersome, and unreliable. Out of this frustration and fear of losing valuable time with someone we loved so dearly, some major decisions were made. I left my job, founded Intuary, and began working full-time toward designing and building my own solution for Auntie. That is how Verbally was created”, he explained.

One of the features of Verbally is a full keyboard in which to type the speech the user wishes to communicate, as well as a “Core Words Grid”, which offers over 50 essential words, designed to save users with less mobility 50 percent of the taps required to input sentences.

The app has customizable features and can be used offline.

Verbally is free (but has a premium version) and is available for iOS.

Adapted from: https://tcrn.ch/2oEF2Nb

More info: http://verballyapp.com

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Anil, Gautam Godhwani and their cousin Ajay, from India, live in the USA. They built verbally, a mobile app designed to help people with speech impairments. They were inspired by their mother (and aunt) Nirmala, who lost her voice because she suffered from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

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