Jocelyn is a Speech Pathologist that specializes in augmentative communication. She primarily works with ALS patients and patients with head and neck cancer. She has taken some time out of her busy schedule to talk to us about Predictable 4 and its new features including ModelTalker and Skype
1.It would be great if you could tell us a little bit about yourself and what it is that you do.
I'm a Speech Pathologist that works in a Muscular Dystrophy/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) multidisciplinary clinic. I work with patients with ALS primarily. I evaluate their swallowing function and make recommendations and also am the specialist that assist them options for communication devices. Given that may patients, especially bulbar ALS, have good motor function, the use of an IPAD with an app is ideal. I have been using this app to demonstrate to my patients in the clinic and have gotten good feed back. Most indicate that it's great to be able to have their voice on the IPAD.. (as this was not previously available). I work in Miami FL, so there is a demand for Spanish apps. I have also been demonstrating the Spanish Predictable app, and again gotten good feed back, and most are very happy with the app.
2. How does the life of one of your patients usually change after their diagnosis?
Everyone seems to handle it differently. Some want to be super proactive and start voice banking (if able). However, some are the opposite and do not want to accept the diagnosis.
3. What are some of the first tools people typically try in order to help improve their communication with others?
An app on the IPAD or Iphone. Most people have access to either one, and typically like that to be the first option as it's less noticeable and easily portable.
4. How did you hear about Predictable and how did you decide this was the ideal product for you to use with your patients?
I completed the model talker as I wanted to be able to have a good demonstration for my patients, and was then contacted by personnel at Model Talker.
5. How long have you been using Predictable in your practice?
Just this past month. I am not allowed much of a budget to purchase apps, so I had previously been using FREE versions such as Verbally. I am very impressed with the quality of Predictable.
6. What is your favourite Predictable feature?
That it allows for writing. Many of my patients like this feature.
7. What are your thoughts about synthetically engineered voices? In your opinion, are these better than those made available by companies such as Loquendo and Nuance?
I do think the quality is better and I try to encourage patients to complete the voice banking process as you can hear the persons voice. However, there's always room for improvement.
8. You have recently been given the news that ModelTalker will be integrated into Predictable. This will be the first AAC app to have voice banking integration. What are your thoughts on this?
About time :). I have been asked that question for the past year, so it's very exciting! I am presenting to a group of Laryngectomee's at the end of September and I am excited to share this news. I think it will get more people voice banking. Now, I'm hoping the same will happen in Spanish.
9. TherapBox has been working on a few other developments within Predictable, one of which being Skype integration. Do you think this is something that would be useful for someone with communication difficulties?
YES, that is one of the top sites most of my patients say they use. So, this will be great!
10. If you culd sum up Predictable in one word, what would it be?
That's a tough one.. Advanced technology, awesome, first of its kind, customized app.