KIDS VOICE APPROVAL OF CHAT TECH
IT IS something we all take for granted – the ability to chat freely with other people. But for these children, a new world has opened up thanks to advancements in technology.
Nine children, aged between six and 14, tested some of the world’s most cutting- edge communication devices during the first Townsville Camp Have a Chat, a three- day gathering for youngsters unable to speak due to physical or intellectual disabilities. The program is designed to help young people with complex communication needs to develop confidence and self- esteem by using new technology and techniques.
Children from as far away as Gordonvale attended the camp, held at Aitkenvale from Tuesday until yesterday. Cerebral Palsy League allied health manager and speech pathologist Rebecca Daniloff said people with communication problems often felt isolated. “Since the camp started ( on Tuesday) we have seen some new friendships forming,” Ms Daniloff said. “It is quite special to watch and is a real boost for the kids.”
The children have trialled various communications books, iPad applications, and hi- tech devices. The products can range in price from $ 350 for an app to $ 20,000 for some of the most advanced devices.
“There is a big price range and CPL therapists help families select the best options for them and provide advice to families about ways to access government funding,” Ms Daniloff said.
“Some of the children have devices already, while others have recently gotten their devices and others are waiting for them to arrive. It gives them a voice.’’
TEST TALK: Speech pathologist Jessica Moll guides Poppy D’Arcy, 9, through some gadgetry at Camp Have a Chat.