• Scott Bennett

How about some peace and quiet?

People with intellectual disabilities have challenges keeping their voices at appropriate levels. Our son, Sam, is 22 and still struggles to keep his voice down. Loud voices if not kept in check can be quite disruptive. For example, imagine going to a nice restaurant, or maybe the theatre. If you've got someone who has a hard time with moderating his voice, and who likes to talk a lot that can be a quick non-starter. So, imagine how excited I was when I stumbled on the voice app using my Apple iWatch.

Yep, old technology, like a decibel reader, is now new again. Just load the voice app and you now have instant visual feedback on your voice level. Too high and your watch gives you a yellow alert. Just right, and you get a pleasant green bar that modulates according to every sound.

This is serious business folks. In fact, I was so excited when I found this app that I wanted to share it with the entire special needs community. So, I wrote a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook. I told him how Sam for the first time was able to self regulate his voice using the Apple's voice app. Tim (or Tim's office) passed the note on to his PR and product accessibility people. Next thing I know, I'm sharing the story with People Magazine.

To be candid, the app still is still effective. However, my son has decided that he doesn't appreciate his dad constantly to pointing his watch. So it's lost a bit of its lustre. Still, I am optimistic about technology advances and how they can improve quality of life particularly in special needs populations.

I appreciate Apple helping spread the word, too. What about you? Do you have any apps or technology solutions that you think people with special needs ought to know about? Let us know!


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