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A pioneering system allows autistic children to communicate with their environment

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
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Contact: Jos Juan Caas Delgado
delagado@ugr.es
34-958-243-767
Universidad de Granada
28-May-2007


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