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HandySpeech App Helps Stroke Survivors Communicate

Communication disorders affect every stroke survivor differently. Persons with aphasia may have difficulty verbally forming sentences, or pronouncing the words they intend to say. For stroke survivors that have retained the ability to write, but cannot orally form speech proficiently, there is a new mobile app that can help.

Screan shot of the HandySpeech AppHandySpeech provides a unique opportunity for people with speech impairments to verbally communicate through writing. Users without a voice simply write what they want to say and the software speaks it for them.

HandySpeech was created by 12-year-old Eric Zeiberg, who was inspired by his sister – an individual with speech disabilities.  "I hope that HandySpeech will provide much needed help and open new opportunities for people in need," said Zeiberg. "The application is dedicated to courageous people who struggle every day to overcome their disabilities."

With Handyspeech you can write in your own handwriting style (cursive or print) or type, and the program will speak for you.

"My wife and I have been using this app for several days now. I can say that this application fills a void in available speech software. It is what maybe is the easiest and fastest way to carry on a quick or casual conversation. The application's ability to recognize and learn your handwriting is excellent. This is a nice contribution to the quality of life for speech impaired folks," said one HandySpeech user.

“Stroke patients can develop problems with communication skills affecting speech and language functions. The mouth and face muscles become weak, move slow, or don’t move at all after a stroke,” said Dr. Emilia Semenov, a neurologist and rehabilitation medicine specialist at Whittier Rehabilitation Hospital in MA. “Another condition is expressive aphasia which affects stroke patients with the damage of the language area of the brain causing problems with communications. The patients are unable to find the correct words to express themselves but many of them still able to write. Affected patients by these conditions can greatly benefit from the HandySpeech application, since they possibly can write by not affected hand.”

HandySpeech can be even used by patients who have lost the ability to write with their prevailing hand. The advanced handwriting recognition technology can recognize the handwriting of even the most challenged writers. It also adjusts the misspelled or unrecognized words based on the context.

The clear and natural voice is far superior to traditional speech devices. It can provide aid in maintaining phone conversations as well, thus allowing stroke survivors to be more independent and self-reliant. HandySpeech can prove to be invaluable speech aid in hospital or rehab settings as well.

The HandySpeech app is available for iPad and can be purchased for $29.99 in the iTunes store.

By: Boris Zeiberg, iSpeak4U LLC

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"HandySpeech provides a unique opportunity for people with speech impairments to verbally communicate through writing. Users without a voice simply write what they want to say and the software speaks it for them."

More on Aphasia

For more information on understanding an managing aphasia, explore the articles in Stroke-Network.com's Speech & Communication section.

Understanding Aphasia

Everything a stroke survivors needs to know to understand the different types of aphasia, diagnoses and initial treatment strategies. Read more here.

The High Price of Aphasia

For stroke survivors coping with aphasia, the costs can be personal, professional, and financial. Read more here.

Tools for Improving Communication

Four easy tools that help stroke survivors improve communication and comprehension. Read the complete article here.

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