Sunday , September 25 2022

Brazilian with ELA creates application for people with speech disorder


Jpatient Afonso Braga, aged 47, diagnosed with AMI in 2013. The disease attacks the central nervous system and causes progressive and irreversible paralysis of the motor. Already in the first year after confirmation of diagnosis, Zé, as he prefers to be called, lost all body movements and also voice.

He even tried applications for people with speech disorders, but most of the market options were limited to English, they had fixed dictionaries and a confusing interface. With computer training, the miner, the father of three children, drew a kind of struggle against time to develop an alternative way of communicating. Then came WeCanSpeak.

The interview with Privacy Policy it was in the living room of Ze's home, in a condominium in the South Lake, under the watchful eye of her husband Valéria Braga. A few minutes before the conversation started, as the photo reporter prepared, he joked: "Put a Tom Cruise (North American actress) on the camera for me to look good."

The conversation with the journalist occurred exclusively and exclusively from the interviewer's eye movements, which are fixed to the keys of a computer screen until words are formed, later transformed into sound. Despite all the limitations, he says he is good, especially with regard to the specialized care he receives and the full support of family and friends.

The official launch of "WeCanSpeak" occurred on the last day 3. In less than ten days, there were more than 300 shots. The tool can be used on computers and tablets and is available for free. A paid version is offered to "the most discerning users" as it is ranked.

Among the key assumptions set for the development of the application were: to be universal. to be formatted (the user can create his own dictionary with full words and phrases appropriate for his everyday life). to be simple, practical and intuitive (the user does not have to go through several commands to say a simple phrase). and accessible (people with all kinds of purchasing power have access to the tool).

The app even allows friends to take home on Thursday for a poker game. Gaming, according to his wife, is still early in the morning. "Communication is the basis of socialization and the loss of this socialization capacity is perhaps the greatest pain caused by ", he said.

Asked about his relationship with the disease, he says he readily accepts the challenges that life demands. At the end of a quiet conversation, with the sound of equipment that guarantees Ze's mechanical breathing in the background, a proposal ends in the interview, almost like a life lesson:From the very first moment, I am committed not to let the illness take the joy of life. And we get it ".

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