Posted on 19/07/2018
What is a lightwriter?
A Lightwriter is a switch and keyboard communication device whereby the user types out messages which are then relayed through the speakers by an automated voice. It utilises AAC (Augmentative and alternative communication). Most models on the market today have a dual screen display, one that you can see and one that is outward facing for the person who is being communicated with to read. This piece of technology has given thousands of disabled people with communication problems a voice and it has made an immense difference to people’s lives.
Other than having the ability to read out words that are typed into it, it also has other innovative features such as;
Your Lightwriter communication aid speaks for you; its voice is your voice. It is important that you feel that the voice you use represents you as much as possible. This is why Lightwriters have a voice customisation option where you can choose the sound of the voice coming from the device. There are multiple options between male and female, different languages and even accents.
The Lightwriter also has the ability to program in phrases to speed up the process of typing. For example, instead of typing ‘Hi, how are you?’ you could program in that ‘HH’ would automatically type that out, saving you a lot of time. They can also have a predictive text function similar to that of a phone which can predict the next word you might want to use you can select it in one click without having to type it out yourself.
Staying In Touch
Most Lightwriters also have internet capabilities, allowing you to be able to stay in contact with friends and family via text messages and emails, some even have the ability for outgoing calls.
Having the Voice Come From You
Some models of Lightwriters such as the Allora model have a secondary speaker that you can remove and wear around your neck on a lanyard, this makes it seem like voice is coming from you and not a machine, making some users more comfortable.
Similar to the last point, having the removable speaker on the Lightwriter also has other uses. For example, when you are in a loud place, the removable speaker can be held up to the ear of the person listening to allow for them to hear better. This makes up for the fact that you cannot shout, and can make the process a lot less frustrating.
The devices we provide at the Sequal Trust have a huge impact on the lives of disabled people who have difficulty communicating, and Lightwriters are just one of the communications aids that we provide to people who need them in the UK.
If you would like to find out more about what we do and how you can help us in our fight to give disabled people a voice contact us on:
Phone: 01691 624 222