Tuesday , March 21 2023

Brazilian with ELA creates application for people with speech disorders


José Afonso Braga, aged 47, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2013. The disease attacks the central nervous system and causes progressive and irreversible motor paralysis. Already in the first year after confirming the diagnosis, Zé, as he prefers to be called, lost all body movements and voice.

He even tried speech targeting applications, but most of the market options were limited to English, fixed dictionaries and a confusing interface. With the training in information technology, the miner, the father of three children, drew a kind of struggle against time to develop an alternative way of communication. Then came WeCanSpeak.

Interview with privacy policy was made in the living room of Zé's house, in a condominium on Lake South, under the eyes of his wife, Valéria Braga. A few minutes before the conversation began, the photographed reporter joked, "Put a Tom Cruise filter (North American actor) on that room, for me to look good."

Chat with the reporter took place exclusively and exclusively by the eyes of the interviewees, who locked on the keys of a computer screen until words were formed, later transformed into audio. Despite all the limitations, he says he is well, especially because of the qualified care he receives and the full support of his family and friends.

The official launch of WeCanSpeak took place on the last day in less than ten days, more than 300 downloads. The tool can be used on computers and tablets and is available free of charge. A paid version is offered to "more demanding users," as Ze categorizes.

Among the basic prerequisites for application development were: to be universal; be configurable (user can create his own dictionary with full words and expressions appropriate to his everyday life); be simple, practical and intuitive (the user does not have to go through several commands to speak a simple expression); and be accessible (people with all kinds of purchasing power can access the tool).

The app even allows friends to get home on Thursday for a poker game. Gambling, according to his wife, is still early in the morning. "Communication is the basis of socialization and losing the ability to socialize is perhaps the greatest pain caused by the disease," he said.

Source http://agencyabrasil.ebc.com.br/saude/noticia/2018-11/Brazilian-with-the-cria-aplicativo-para-pessoas-con-disturbios-na-fala

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