Author: Garric Clémentine, Master in Cognitive Neurosciences
At Vocalyx : Adaptation of the communication content to the different cognitive profiles of the application users
Vocalyx is an application focusing on all possible communication barriers (brain, motor, social). To be able to meet and adapt to users' needs, it is necessary to build and improve the application's functionalities from day to day with the help of feedback from accompanists and health professionals (speech therapists, reeducating doctors, occupational therapists, neuropsychologists, etc).
We are particularly attentive to numerous speech therapists. Speech-language pathology is central to the construction or reconstruction of language in people with communication disorders. We collaborate notably with Christine Larroque, speech therapist specialized in neurology.
The setting up of a working group to improve Vocalyx under the prism of speech therapy was thus indispensable. We recruited three motivated and curious speech and language pathology students, Léa Croze, Hélène Chappot de la Chanonie and Laura Le Cam
During the 6 months of collaboration, we were able to tackle 4 major themes:
- Diagnose and improve the handling of the application
- Develop the digital rehabilitation toolbox
- Evaluate the application in the context of autism
- Integrate exercises to the Vocalyx application
▸Prise in Vocalyx's hand by the speech therapist
new in speech therapy. Some computer-based software is developed, but few include office or centre practice with the use of smartphone or tablet. However, today, there is a growing demand from patients and those around them for a communication aid adapted and mobile.
The Vocalyx tool therefore needs to be complete (having the functionalities required to adapt to the greatest number of patients) while being intuitive
The first step within our working group was thus a series of tests of handling and ergonomics with the students in speech therapy. We were able to note their astonishment, expectations, remarks and difficulties encountered on the application. Each point raised was discussed, prototyped to finally be integrated in the application updates.
▸Développer a digital re-education toolbox
Vocalyx is an application for facilitating communication with entourage. Pre-recorded messages refer to the desires, moods, needs that users may have on a daily basis.
to the various visual supports (pictograms, photos, texts) and sounds (synthetic voices or personal recordings), as well as the access to the creation and personalization of keyboards, the potential of Vocalyx also extends to the rehabilitation .
Many joint sessions have therefore been dedicated to evaluating the numerical tool adapted to the rehabilitation work of speech therapists : which exercises? which options? which format? The conclusions of this work were submitted to the developers of Vocalyx to realize and integrate the project into the application.
▸Evaluer application in the context of autism
adapt the format of the application to different forms of language preservation (text, photo, pictogram, designation on images, messages classified by categories, no categorization, etc...) Now the result, adaptable and customizable, shows many assets adapted to the context of the autistic spectrum.
The reflection in working group around the subject is the subject of an article on the blog, available here
▸Intégrer from keyboards and exercises to the Vocalyx application
After exploring, commenting, rethinking and evaluating the application, SLT students were confronted with creation. Indeed, they were able to start new communication keyboards directly in the application, as well as an exercise each in the specific problem of Alzheimer's disease.
The three exercise bases now available in the application are exposed and commented here