Communication ability among children who are intellectually disabled or have communication limitations (such as autism, down syndrome, or cerebral palsy) may soon be improved thanks to a research group of the University of Granada (Universidad de Granada [http://www.ugr.es]). SC@UT, which stands for Augmentative and Adaptive Communication System, has been created by the following researchers: 13 lecturers from the UGR Computer Engineering School (ETSI), ASPROGRADES association and a team of psychologists, psycho-pedagogues, and speech therapists. All of them are headed by professor Jos Juan Caas Delgado, lecturer of Ergonomics of the department of Experimental Psychology and Behavioural Physiology of the UGR [http://www.ugr.es] and professor Mara Jos Rodrguez Fortiz, lecturer at the department of System Informatics. SC@UT, software for augmenting communication by computer devices (PCs, laptops, PDAs, etc.), is designed for children with special communication and educational needs, such as those who suffer from autism.
This is a project promoted by the Regional Government of Andalusia which attempts to reduce differences between disabled and non-disabled people, states professor Caas Delgado. We have created a configurable parameter tool that allows disabled people to interact with their environment. In this way, their adaptation to a world full of barriers is much easier. In present world, social and labour integration is impossible without communication and access to education.
The functioning of SC@UT is easy: through a PC (or even better, a PDA) parents or tutors can download the specific software from the website http://www.ugr.es/~scaut/. After this, the device is ready to be used as a means of communication between the child and society. Thanks to the SC@UT project, the child can express such needs as going to the toilet or hunger, as we
Contact: Jos Juan Caas Delgado
Universidad de Granada