Personal Communicator

While eyes can say a lot, as we can see from the beautiful girl in the picture, communication is a real concern for people with a speech impediment. An important part of Symbol for Windows programs is aimed at enabling these people to communicate. Symbol for Windows is fit for people with (a combination of) aphasia, spasms, cerebral palsy, a mental handicap or a severe motional or physical handicap. The main module used for person to person communication is the Personal Communicator. Symbols or words are selected or typed on a screen, and pronounced by the speech synthesizer. In this way, the Personal Communicator becomes the voice of the user.

Speech in the Personal Communicator

The possibilities to create speech with the Personal Communicator are virtually unlimited. You can use as many words, sentences, symbols with their meanings, computercommands, etc, as you like. Since Symbol for Windows works on an ordinary computer, you can choose which speech synthesizer you would like to install. This means you can choose any speech synthesizer that works on a Windows platform, from the standard Microsoft voices to more sophisticated voices, men's, women's or children's voices. This also means you are not bound by a maximum number of sentences:

Automatic speech output

With the automatic speech output (with the use of a speech synthesizer), an unlimited number of combinations can be made by typing symbols. The symbols are placed in the so-called sentence bar and subsequently read aloud.

Recorded speech

It is also possible to record phrases, sentences or words directly from the Personal Communicator, or link an existing audio file to a field in the selection set, like a story or a song. This is very easy to do, using a special dialogue window "field properties" that can be accessed by right clicking on a cell in the selection set. The selection sets in the Personal Communicator could be expanded to comprise hundreds of pages if you'd like, so the amount of recorded speech is only limited by your computer's capacity to store files and how many pages an end-user can handle in a given selection set.

Auditory feedback

It is possible to install a second voice, that gives feedback on navigation for the user. This voice can be activated during selection of fields or entering or exiting a page for example.

Alternative Control

Those users that can't use mouse and keyboard because of a motional or physical impairment, can control the Personal Communicator using different kinds of switches, eye-control, or adapted mouse or button. For more information, visit the page about alternative control.

Symbols or text

It is possible to have the Personal Communicator say texts, that have been written in letters. It is also possible to get support while writing words, using word prediction (flexlex licence required), which makes typing quicker. But most of the time symbols are used, for several reasons:

With the Personal Communicator, many different symbol libraries can be used, aswell as your own pictures and photographs.

For more presentations, go to the trainingcentre

More possibilities

These other Symbol for Windows programs may be of interest to you:

Do you work with/for people with a disability or are you a family member? These programs make working with symbols easier for you, too:

These last three programs can only be controlled by mouse and/or keyboard.