TalkBox: An Open-Source Communication Board for Non-verbal Users
Ray Feraday, Toni Kunic and Melanie Baljko
Haworth, B., Usman, M., Baljko, M., Hamidi, F. The Use of Working Prototypes for Participatory Design with People with Disabilities. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs – ICCHP'16, 2016, 134-141. Available online.
Hamidi, F., Baljko, M., Kunic, T., Feraday, R. A DIY Communication Board Case Study. Journal of Assistive Technologies, 9(4), 2015, 187-198. Available online.
Hamidi, F., Baljko, M. Kunic, T., Feraday, R. Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Assistive Technology: A Communication Board Case Study. Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs – ICCHP 2014. 2014, 287-294. Berlin: Springer. Available Online.
TalkBox is a low-cost open-source communication board for non-verbal users. It can either be used by people who require a small number of speech choices or when conventional communication boards are not available (e.g., when clients are waiting to receive them). It combines a Raspberry Pi and a touch-sensor to implement a customizable tangible interface to playback speech and sound files.
An interesting aspect of this project is that it is designed to be assembled by users and their families themselves. In collaboration with the Tetra Society of North America, we conducted a workshop at the 2015 Toronto Mini Maker Faire, in which users with disabilities were given kits and instructions on how to make their own TalkBoxs.
Please watch the following video to see how TalkBox works.