Communication FixUp : Alex Long

The purpose of this application is to give the most severe disability the power to communicate basic needs. A tool that can easily process speech, signs and gestures, create pictures, symbols, and letters would assist those with the most severe disabilities but with the technology in today’s devices this social just tool can assist the everyday Joe. This application will be entirely accessible to anyone with a severe need to simple directions to the bathroom.

The application addresses the basic needs for communication by providing an Alternative and Augmentative Communication for an individual with disabilities with app-enabled phones. The application empowers the user to transmit the information needed for positive results. The ability to select a database of images, emoticons and text reinforced by the ease of use will allow even the most severely disabled the ability to communicate. “The silence of speechlessness is never golden. We all need to communicate and connect with each other – not just in one way, but in as many ways as possible. It is a basic human need, a basic human right. And more than this, it is a basic human power… (B. Williams, 2000, p. 248).” Technology that is easily accessible now has the ability to provide a wide range of ways to communicate.

The intended user of this app has severe communication disabilities with the yearning to properly express their needs or emotions with ease and speed. Today’s smart devices feature technology that can detect an abnormal behavior that can detect a need or emergency before it occurs. For those with serious health problems this application will feature a heart pressure monitor and sleep patterns. The user is very aware of the type of technology being interacted with. Fortunately clear and concise communication tools are available on devices that are socially accepted. …[the iPad] provides a rather elegant solution to the social integration problem. Kids with even the most advanced dedicated speech device are still carrying around something that tells the world “I have a disability.” Kids using an iPad have a device that says, “I’m cool.” And being cool, being like anyone else, means more to them than it does to any of us. (Rummel-Hudson, 2011, p. 22). This is technology that will be useful for anyone with non-verbal communication needs.

This application is also intended for individuals who do not speak the native language of the country they are in. This is a benefit of mobile media being used for globalization. By using this application, a foreign laborer can be effective at work by using the Alternative and Augmentative Communication system. Social Justice issues arise when there are forces benefiting or hurting social groups, and by giving access to a basic communication tool there is a balancing that occurs. “The United Nations estimates the total number of illiterate adults to be about 800 million worldwide, 270 million of whom are located in Indie alone, and defines illiteracy as a “person who cannot with understanding both read and write a short simple statement on their everyday life” (Chipchase 80). Those that do not have the proper education or life circumstances will be able to make use of this app.

The technology is available to fully allow people facing social justice issues ranging from disabilities to education to integrate themselves into the mobile media world. With applications that allow the most simple form of communication, they will be greater globalization because of mobile media. Understanding the importance of leveling out the serious issues  individuals in society is the beginning of change to “the operation of power: the social construction, or shaping, of disability in technology has decisively to do with relation of power” (Goggin and Newell 2003). Those with social justice issues were not thought of during the first stages of the digital world but with new applications that is changing.

Works Cited

Cell phone culture: mobile technology in everyday life By: Goggin, Gerard. Routledge 2006

Handbook of mobile communication studies By: Katz, James Everett. MIT Press 2008

Rummel – Hudson. R. (2011) A revolution at their fingertips. Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 19-23.

Willliams, B. (2000). More than an exception to the rule. Speaking up and spelling it out (pp. 245–254). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.

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