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Groundbreaking Online Speech Therapy and Device Assessment Tool to Transform Lives

Thu, 11/14/2013 - 9:50am
Business Wire

Unveiling a groundbreaking online speech therapy site, two new speech-generating devices and a new device assessment tool, Lingraphica, a Princeton, N.J. company that has been conducting research on aphasia and creating speech generating-devices for more than 23 years, will also provide seven research and clinical presentations at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's (ASHA) 2013 Convention. The event kicks off today at McCormick Place in Chicago, where more than 13,000 speech language pathologists, audiologists, and speech and hearing scientists are sharing the latest innovations.

“This year marks Lingraphica’s strongest showing at the ASHA convention, with a record activity level spanning several presentations and the announcement of our next generation speech rehabilitation tools for speech language pathologists and their clients with aphasia,” said Andrew Gomory, chief executive officer of Lingraphica. “We are showcasing how our research-based solutions help transform the lives of people with aphasia.” Aphasia is a speech disorder resulting from a stroke or other brain trauma that affects the ability to speak, write or comprehend language. Each year more than 80,000 men and women join one million Americans living with aphasia.

Many people with aphasia can recover within a few months, but up to 60 percent still have language impairments more than six months after a stroke. Speech therapy, which involves exercises in which you may perform tasks like reading, writing, following directions, and repeating what you hear, can help people with aphasia regain the ability to express themselves and have others understand them.

“Using speech-generating devices and interactive apps is an example of how harnessing technology enhances standard language therapies,” Gomory said. “The innovations Lingraphica is introducing at the convention, coupled with our current devices, provide options that fit any lifestyle and help people with aphasia reconnect with family, friends and the community.” Gomory noted the significant tools Lingraphica will debut at this year’s event: TalkPath TM Online Speech Therapy, the innovative first-of-its kind online speech therapy site, transforms the way people with aphasia can access therapy. Speech language pathologists and their clients need only an Internet connection to access the subscription-based service. Located at aphasia.com/products/talkpath, the aphasia-friendly site allows people with aphasia to work individually as well as collaboratively with their speech language pathologists. The site is initially offering four types of exercises and automatically adjusts levels of tasks within each exercise to meet the needs of the clients. A free trial period is available for users to try the site before subscribing.

Two new speech-generating devices offer hope for people with aphasia and apraxia.

The new AllTalk TM, Lingraphica’s most versatile speech-generating device, transforms to fit user’s needs. The AllTalk has evolved from its introduction in 1990 to its current ninth-generation model featuring 4,400 graphic icons associated with 7,500 words and phrases that depict and enunciate objects, thoughts, needs, and emotions for patients to learn and communicate, and allows people with aphasia to communicate anywhere, anytime and any way. Converting from a laptop with a full keyboard to a tablet device, the AllTalk is fully customizable, adaptable to touchscreen or track-pad use, and equipped with integrated video calling. The AllTalk syncs easily with the SmallTalk TM Family of Communication Apps and is completely backed by Lingraphica's free technical support over the lifetime of the device.

Joining AllTalk in its ASHA-convention debut is the MiniTalk TM, the most portable and lightweight speech-generating device available. At only one pound, including its protective carrying case that doubles as a table-top stand, the full-featured, MiniTalk is discrete and ultra-portable. Fitting easily into a pocket or purse, the device allows users to easily blend into a variety of social settings and offers mobility for an active lifestyle. An extra-long battery life ensures that the MiniTalk is convenient for users to take along whenever they’re on the go.

The new devices join TouchTalk TM, the tablet device, as part of Lingraphica’s suite of products and apps. All three medical devices are covered by Medicare, the Veterans Administration and many private insurance plans.

QuickAssess SM, the new Lingraphica device assessment tool for speech language pathologists (SLPs), transforms the way an SLP assesses a client’s readiness for speech-generating devices. The tool, available as a free iPad® app and downloadable from the App Store, allows a speech language pathologist to conveniently walk through an assessment with a client and demonstrates a speech-generating device so that the speech language pathologist can determine if a device is appropriate for the client.

All three offerings were designed under the guidance of a team of speech language pathologists and the company conducted significant usability testing with members of its Lingraphica Aphasia Users’ Group – each of whom is working to rebuild speech lost because of stroke.

If attending the convention, visit Lingraphica’s booth, #1333, and register for exciting giveaways. Follow Lingraphica at the ASHA Convention on social media by using the handle @Lingraphica and its hashtag #transformation. You can also visit www.aphasia.com/transformation.

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