Date of Award

5-1994

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Departmental Honors

Department

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Cal Auhh

Abstract

There is an extremely large number of people in the modem world who have difficulty communicating. Among these are approximately 25 million people with cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a disability that is usually caused during, or shortly after birth. Cerebral palsy usually affects a person's motor skills and sense of balance, often rendering them incapable of speaking clearly enough to be understood well. Because this group of people cannot communicate as effectively as other individuals, many uninformed people suppose they do not have as great a need to speak, to say things like, "How are you?", ''I'm Hungry", "Thank you" or "I love you!" All people, including those suffering from speaking impairments, have feelings and emotions that need to be expressed. Their desires to communicate are just as strong, if not stronger, than individuals who have greater freedom to express themselves. To assure the highest possible quality of life-style for both individuals with severe speech impediments and all those associated with them, means must be devised to augment the ability of these individuals to communicate. These means must not only be easy and convenient to use, they must also be affordable. With these requirements in mind, we designed an augmentative communications device which we call Talk4Me. Talk4Me allows a user to playback prerecorded messages, enabling them to concisely express a limited number of ideas.

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