Technology is having a transformative impact around the world. I wanted to share another great story, this time from the Abu Dhabi Center for Autism in the United Arab Emirates, where children with autism are benefitting from new technology form factors and user interfaces in assistive learning scenarios.

In the video below, you can see how the Maestro speech communication device built on Windows 7 works. It was developed to give individuals of all ages and abilities living with speech and language disabilities the ability to communicate using a sleek, stylish tool that allows the individual to blend in with their peers.  Messages are composed by selecting vocabulary on the screen. Depending upon the individual’s abilities and needs, he or she may compose messages using symbols, words, phrases or letters – singularly or in combination.

The Maestro’s InterAACt language framework presents vocabulary in a way that is meaningful and relevant to the child, providing context when needed, and ensures that the child has the right words for every situation. InterAACt not only supports face-to-face interactions, but also communication by e-mail, text message and phone. The Maestro’s hardware also individuals to access the device via touch and alternative access methods such as scanning, eye gaze, joystick and Morse code.

The Maestro communication tool does a great job of removing barriers to communication by giving children with communication challenges the ability to effectively and efficiently communicate with others.  And even better…it gives people the ability to independently initiate conversations!