Stephen Paterson reviews the Fluency Tracker application for iPhone (or iPod touch / iPad).
Fluency Tracker is as described by the developers “an application designed for individuals who stutter and parents of children who stutter. Fluency Tracker will complement the services provided by speech therapists by offering clients a tool they can use to track their progress towards a more fluent speech, positive feelings about speech, and a decrease in avoidance behaviours that are associated with stuttering”.
There are so many communication aid users on YouTube that it is difficult to keep up. I have been collecting good examples for a while by subscribing to Channels.
Rather belatedly, I have realised that the easiest way for others to access this collection involves a bit more work for me – I need to add individual videos to a playlist and then share the link to the Playlist.
The VIVOCA project is focused around including potential users of such a device at all stages of the development process and this study is the first stage of this user involvement. Later on in the project we will also be seeking users to be involved in the development and trial of the device, which already exists as a prototype.
The purpose of this stage is to identify the strategies people who use communication aids employ to make the use of their aid functional and also the reasons why they may not use their aid in all situations. The goal of this stage of the project is to help inform the development of the VIVOCA device by drawing on the experience of people who use current communication aids. National ethical approval for the study has been granted by the Leeds-West NHS Research Ethics Committee.
In these initial stages the team wants to speak to current expert communication aid users – i.e. those who use their aid effectively in a variety of situations and with a variety of people. The project is specifically seeking people who:
* are expert users and have little or no intelligible speech
* are expert users and who have some intelligible speech
* have some intelligible speech and have tried a communication aid but rejected it
Are you one of these people or do you know people meeting these criteria from your caseloads?
Barnsley Assistive Technology Team and Sheffield University are looking for participants to take part in a research study – the team is looking for expert communication aid users and also people who have rejected the use of communication aids.
Please contact Simon Judge or Zoë Robertson at:
Barnsley Assistive Technology Team, Medical Physics Dept, Block 14, Barnsley Hospital, Barnsley S75 2EP
Tel: 01226 43 2159 Email:
This study is part of a research project developing a ‘voice-input voice-output communication aid’ (VIVOCA) – a communication aid that recognises some dysarthric speech. Read more at www.communicationmatters.org.uk