"More than 300 million people worldwide suffer from some form of disability or ailment such as autism, Down´s syndrome, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, deafness, and other learning disabilities and speech disorders. Adding to the complexity of these impediments, many of these people also face significant challenges when it comes to communicating effectively with the world around them.
And so Daniela Galindo, spurred on by the desire to improve the quality of life for her sister who was born with physical and mental disabilities, created Talking to Julis, a software program that facilitates communication using a database containing over 44 thousand words depicted by images. Each word is also enhanced with the addition of both written and spoken descriptions as well as a video which shows the expression of the word using sign language. Using the software, the user can construct a sentence which the program converts into written, spoken and/or signed speech depending on the user´s specific needs.
So far this system has over 4,700 registered users in Colombia and across Latin America. And although there are other technologies which focus on facilitating communication for people affected by autism or Down´s syndrome, Galindo´s is the only universal and personalized tool, and is expected to become available for use via tablets and smartphones in the near future."