Angel, Daniel, Isaac, Jessica, Josh, Kristen, Riss, Victor -- A Great Team
Home Page - can scroll down for more buttons. Each button press triggers speech output and text of button message in message bar
Home Page - after buttons have been pressed to make a message
Edit Modal - Long press on button creates pop-up to edit the display text and allows you to search for a new image.
As a Speech-Language Pathologist, Daniel has worked with adults and children of all backgrounds with communication disabilities. He found an alarming trend: the lower the income bracket, the less access these individuals had to technology systems that allowed them to communicate. They weren't able to express their wants, needs, opinions, thoughts, feelings, and more. That's not right.
Communication is a human right -- no one should be denied the ability to communicate because of disability or lack of financing. There are more than two million people in the US alone with communication disabilities. Dedicated devices can cost between $1,000 - $50,000. Simple iPad apps alone can cost $300 or more, and many are not based on best practices determined by the latest research.
Our project is to break down these financial and technological access barriers. Our first objective is to create an open-source cross-platform communication app. Written in React Native, this app will be usable on iOS and Android, increasing accessibility to everyone. Thanks to the hard work of a dedicated team, during ATX Hack for Change 2018, we were able to build a minimum viable product.
Our second objective is to partner with local non-profits to provide donated devices to as many people as possible. Austin's local non-profit “Zach’s Voice” had redistributed used devices to families with children with Autism. They recently shut down partly due to the cost of expensive iPad communication apps. We hope to help them reopen. If that's not possible, we will continue their cause by distributing used iPads to those in need.
Thanks to the support of many different individuals, we have made a lot of progress. But we still have a long way to go. Our job is not done until everybody has access to communication.