The autistic community has been using technology to vastly improve the ability of people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to communicate with the outside world for a number of years. iPhones, iPads, and other AAC tech has made it far easier for nonverbal typers to express themselves. And now, technology is ready to take the next step – voice synthesization.
Voice synthesizer technology has come a long way since the days of a robotic, electronic drone, the kind used by Professor Stephen Hawking for many years. It’s interesting to note that Professor Hawing has chosen to keep the voice he uses because he believes that people now identify it with him.
Dozens of apps are now available to add a physical voice to typers’ messages. One of the best sources we’ve found for this tech is from The Acapela Group. Acapela invents speech solutions to vocalize text with authentic and original voices that express meaning and intent. Over 100 synthetic voices in 34 languages are ready to give a voice to any content producing a natural and pleasant audio result, by turning written input into speech.
Video: Tracy Thresher – Express Yourself: Supporting Communication through Arts, Advocacy, and Education
In August, 2012, Tracy Thresher, co-star of the documentary “Wretches & Jabberers“, presented a Keynote Address at the Summer Autism Conference in Concord New Hampshire. To demonstrate the power of voice synthesization, we added a sonic voice to his PowerPoint presentation utilizing some of this new technology. The results were dramatic and compelling:
Find out more about Tracy Thresher, a very interesting guy.
For more information about this amazing technology, visit the Acapela Group website.