‘Verbal Victor’ app gives voice to disabled

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“You can be bitter, or you can be better.”

That was the advice – simple and straight forward. But easier to give, than to put into action.

It was advice that Paul Pauca got from his wife, Theresa, when they discovered their youngest child – and only son, Victor – had a condition called, ‘Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome.’  That’s a genetic abnormality that is likely to prevent Victor from ever being able to speak.

But Victor is still a fairly bright boy and, instead of simply lamenting his condition, Paul decided to do something about it. He is a computer science professor at Wake Forest University and knew there were programs out there that helped people who had difficulty communicating speak in some way. But they were often complicated and always expensive. Paul wanted something different.

So he developed, ‘Verbal Victor.’  It is a simple – and inexpensive – program that helps Victor communicate through images he is very familiar with, rather than trying to teach him some generic symbols.  It is working well and, through iTunes, has been downloaded in just about every country on the planet.  And that’s where Paul sees his work just beginning.

In this edition of the Buckley Report, see what that has inspired Paul to do next … and who will benefit from his ideas.

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