Looking for a "speech" solution for someone with Motor Neurone Disease
September 27, 2007 8:47 AM   Subscribe

A family friend has developed Motor Neurone Disease and is reaching the stage where she can no longer speak. Can anyone suggest a suitably loud portable device which might be used with a voice synthesizing programme so she might continue to "speak" to people?

A family friend has developed Motor Neurone Disease and is reaching the stage where she can no longer speak. To continue to communicate with people she'd like to be able to find an Ultra Mobile Computer (UMPC) with a voice synthesizing programme.

The idea being that she would carry the device around with her, type her words into it, and then have it speak them to whomever she's trying to communicate with.

However, none of the machines she's found (like the OQO Model 02) have a suitably powerful speaker in them.

Can anyone recommend a solution to this problem? I've suggested she carry around a battery-powered speaker as well and plug it in to the headphone port of the UMPC, but I'm wondering if anyone out there has a specific product or solution that leaps to mind as being suitable?

How do other people suffering from Motor Neurone Disease deal with this?
posted by dunstanorchard to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
Something like this in-line between the UMPC and a speaker?
posted by lemonfridge at 9:09 AM on September 27, 2007

They even have USB powered ones! No extra batteries to charge and change, assuming the OQO has USB, which I'm pretty sure it does.
posted by lemonfridge at 9:10 AM on September 27, 2007

Perhaps something like this from Dynavox. Dynavox has a wide range of augmentative communication devices, which I believe would best serve your friend's needs. My experience with such has been purchases for children through Medicaid, so I'm afraid I don't know what an out-of-pocket cost would be, if that is the case. However, I do know that speech is loud and clear. Often, the device will have a number of voices from which to chose.

I would recommend meeting with a speech therapist. Let him/her know you are looking for an augmentative communication device. He/she would also be familiar with getting insurance to pay or might have knowldge of other funding sources.
posted by wg at 9:50 AM on September 27, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks guys, those are two great suggestions. I'll pass them on.
posted by dunstanorchard at 10:25 AM on September 27, 2007

When I had total laryngitis I found it relatively easy to communicate with people by carrying around a pad and simply writing things and flipping the pad around to show them. Probably wouldn't take any longer then typing and has all of the advantages of paper v. electronics: cost, ruggedness, etc.
posted by underwater at 11:56 AM on September 27, 2007

« Older Why do my hands itch?   |   Social director needs social direction Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.