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By Sally Millar on Monday 21st June, 2010 at 2:51pm
Amongst the new things seen at ICT and Inclusion last week were AbilityWorld's new Uni-tech Voice Symbol and Voice Ink. Whats innovative is that the special software prints sound as well as symbols and words on to paper (ordinary paper and normal colour printer cartridge). When the user touches the printed word or symbol on the paper with the special Voice Pen, it speaks (choice of synthetic voices). It can also play music/sound files or recorded voice.
With the Voice Ink software, when the user touches each word (or sentence, paragraph or whole page, depending on how the settings you choose) it speaks out, so you can use it just to check you've correctly read a few 'sticky' words, or to read whole work sheets, etc. A true 'talking book'.
The Voice Symbol communication software lets you make symbol boards or book pages, and record personalised messages, so it is a low-tech system that speaks as well! It also works through laminate.
The system is not exactly cheap, but comparable in price to some other recorded voice communication aids. Once you've got the software you can add more V-pens for more users at a reasonable price.
There is a link on the Ability World website to video clips on YouTube where you can see the Uni-tech system in use (albeit largely in Taiwanese...).