Sunday, May 01, 2011

Kickstarter project: Xalts Open Source Text to Speech DB & Touch Screen App #autism #disabilities

A quick note here. For those out there who believe in the importance of open source, here is a project of great potential importance: Xalts Open Source Text to Speech Database & Touch Screen App by S David Jacobson — Kickstarter

The goal of the project is to develop "Xalts":
Xalts is a free, open source, picture exchange mode of communication that adds speech to visual language samples. Picture exchange (PECS) uses images to facilitate communication for individuals with expressive language deficits. Xalts is appropriate for those on the autistic spectrum and useful for learning a foreign language or dubbing film. Visual language samples can be comprised of any icons, symbols, photos, text or video. Xalts will associate the sample with whatever spoken definition you assign and then add it to our library. Users can store their vocabularies on a free web based account or download it to a personal device. Best of all you can share your vocabulary with others no matter what device they are using. Xalts’ open structure invites everyone to create, contribute and share. In short, we want to eliminate costs and wildly expand the PECS dictionary. We come at this project as parents, family members and friends of children with disabilities and our objective is to assure that these children have access to free and powerful tools for communication. There are more than 500,000 children in the United States who could benefit from this application, and globally there may be as many 25 million.

Please consider donating or publicizing in some way. I note, this project is partly run by a very good friend Saul Jacobson. He is completely committed to seeing this happen and has a great developer involved. They just need a bit of money to get going.

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