A professor at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC), Ruth Candela, psychiatrist, has launched a specialized platform in communication for minors with disabilities without oral language.
This is the AlfaSAAC project for creating an online platform in Spanish for the training, support, advice, and research in augmentative and alternative communication and literacy of minors with this problem, the UOC has reported.
Augmentative and alternative communication -still very little known in Spain- consists of using any form of communication -apart from speech- to express thoughts, needs, desires, and ideas, with the particularity that people do not use their voice, but others methods, such as pictographic systems, specific software, eye readers, etc.
“In children with disabilities who use this type of communication, language acquisition and literacy require a highly specialized implementation that needs great support, and we want to accompany them in this challenge,” said Candela.
In Spain, there are more than four million people with disabilities, of which 30% have complex communication needs, a group of around one million people with developmental disorders – such as infantile cerebral palsy, Rett syndrome or spectrum disorder autistic, among others- who do not develop oral language and needs to use an alternative.
The initiative, led by Candela, is one of the eight finalists of the SpinUOC, the Catalan distance university’s entrepreneurship program, and promoted by the Hubbik platform, to be held on October 1.