Tamil Nadu government to distribute communication devices for kids with special needs
The Tamil Nadu department looking into the welfare of the disabled will soon begin giving out 400 high-end communication devices to children with autism, Cerebral Palsy (CP) and Down syndrome.
Communication devices developed by IIT Madras
These are augmentative and alternative communication tools that will allow children with speech and language disabilities to communicate using pictures and artificial speech in both Tamil and English.
The developed devices will be used at early intervention centres, mobile therapy units and training centres. Of the 400 devices, 50 will come with a switch access to aid those who cannot use touch screen. All the devices will have picture and alphabet modes to make them more user-friendly.
Nearly one in every 50 children in Tamil Nadu is believed to be on the autism spectrum and nearly 35,000 individuals across the state suffer from CP, which is a permanent congenital condition in which a portion of the brain's frontal lobe is damaged thereby affecting coordinated movement of hand or feet.
CP affects muscles that produce speech or vision and are denied access to traditional communication methods.