The Gift of Speech

February 27, 2017 by Variety - the Children's Charity

Officer Specialist School

On Monday 27 February, Variety – the Children’s Charity visited Officer Specialist School to present 40 brand new iPads to help non-verbal students find their voices and participate in school activities with their peers.

Officer Specialist School (OSS) is a purpose-built facility, which services the needs of students aged 5-18 years, with mild to severe intellectual and associated disabilities. Currently the school is serviced by 68 staff members, including therapists and educational support staff, and the student population is on its way to 200, 52 of which are non-verbal.

A Voice for All

The iPads that Variety presented to the school are equipped with Proloquo2Go software which has the potential to positively transform the lives of non-verbal students, by giving them their own voice in the classroom. The students will receive in-class support from a Speech Pathologist, who will teach them how to use the app to impact the world around them.

Proloquo2Go is used by people with autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy and various other diagnoses. It is available in English, Spanish and French. All the user needs to do is press a button which indicates an action, object or feeling, and the app “speaks”, informing friends, teachers or family members, what they want, think or feel.

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