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iPad as a Communication Device

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Typing on the iPad with the on screen keyboard.

iPad with keyboard

Bluetooth Keyboard

For those PALS (Patients with ALS) who have good hand function, but just have trouble speaking, this may be a solution for you.

There are a host of applications that you can purchase to have your device speak out loud things that you type or select on a screen.

There are MANY text-to-speech applications on iTunes. Here is a sample of the applications that are the most appropriate for PALS:

NeoKate/NeoPaul/NeoJulie Speaks anything typed into the application. You can store phrases. Natural sounding voices, each voice is a separate application. Free on iTunes
Proloquo2go Fully featured communication software with over 7000 items. Good quality voices. $189.99 on iTunes
Speak it! Text to Speech Turns anything a user types into speech. Good voice synthesizer with very clear speech. Male and Female voices available. $1.99 on iTunes
Talk to Me - Text to Speech Speaks words as they are typed, and will speak whole phrases. Male and Female voices. $1.99 on iTunes

If you are interested in this option, you should go to your local Apple store to try the iPad in person before committing to the purchase. When you go to the store, you can ask for one of the free apps above to be added to the iPad so that you can try it out.

Other accessories that you may find helpful:

Motorola EQ5 Portable Wireless Speaker, or another Bluetooth external speaker.
If you have difficulty touching the screen, there is a stylus to help make selecting items easier called the Pogo Stylus.
Ewest Super Mini Stereo Speaker, or another external speaker.

This company sells iPad accessories specificially for people with disabilities (not all appropriate for ALS).

These devices do not have the same capabilities as a high tech communication device, but for some patients it can be a good solution.

Ask The Expert! Do you have any assistive technology related questions? Email Ben Lieman, our Assistive Technology Specialist at or call the office at (212) 720-3057.

Further Reading:

- Be Proactive! - Insurance and Big Ticket Items
- Adaptive Clothing
- Alternate Reading Methods
- Patient Lifts
- Hospital Beds/Mattresses
- 3-in-1 Commode
- Modified Vehicles

Recursos en espaƱol disponibles. Por favor llame al (212) 619-1400. Gracias.

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