The Aphasia Software Finder
These are exciting and frustrating times for those concerned with the treatment of aphasia. Exciting because an ever growing body of research and experience shows us that treatment can make a difference. Frustrating because most healthcare systems are suffering financial pressures that mean very few people with aphasia are likely to be allocated enough resources so that they can benefit from these advances – especially as there is increasing evidence that amount and intensity of treatment can be crucial.
In this information age we are now living in, many people are looking to find computer software which can help people with aphasia, as a way of squaring that circle. More and more aphasia software programs are coming onto the market. Knowing which to chose can be an uncertain, expensive and chancy process as there has been no central point that links to all the available software. Also it is often difficult to determine whether a given piece of software is suitable for an individual person just by looking at the suppliers’ sites. The Tavistock Trust for Aphasia, the only grant-making charity in the UK that focuses only on aphasia, has commissioned the Bristol Speech & Language Therapy research Unit to create a free, online resource that aims to meet this need, designed for people with aphasia, their carers, as well as for Speech & Language Therapists.
It enables them to specify their area of language difficulty and immediately be given a list of available relevant treatment software programs. Detailed information is then provided regarding each program, enabling an informed choice to be made. This tool will make the search and selection process quick, simple and objective thus helping avoid inappropriate purchases.
The resource can be accessed at www.aphasiasoftwarefinder.org.
It has been co-developed by an SLT (with a special interest and experience in the field of aphasia as well as 15 years’ experience in the fields of AAC and computer therapy), an IT expert with a special interest in the field of aphasia and computer therapy, and a web designer, along with input from the commissioning charity. A group of people with aphasia have contributed to the design. It has no links to any software suppliers or developers, and is funded by a charity.
New features of the site include:
*the whole site has been redisgned to make it even more "aphasia friendly" in line with the latest research
*apps for mobile devices are now include
*pointers to useful general software such as screen readers and voice recognition
As this is a rapidly developing field, The Tavistock Trust for Aphasia and those involved are committed to keeping the resource up to date, including evaluations of new or revised software packages.