One month after the introduction of Apple’s iPhone as a stuttering treatment tool in January 2009, nonprofit Hollins Communications Research Institute (HCRI – www.stuttering.org) has integrated the iPod Touch into its scientifically based stuttering therapy program. Applications for both devices were developed in-house at HCRI and designed to help program participants more effectively transfer newly acquired fluency skills from the clinical setting into real-world environments.
Similar to HCRI’s iPhone software, the iPod Touch features an advanced voice monitoring system that measures and scores speech behavior taught during stuttering treatment. Under the guidance of specially trained HCRI clinicians, stuttering therapy clients use the device with a small external microphone to practice their new speaking skills in everyday situations.
As individuals speak, the iPod Touch screen displays real-time fluency measurements for each utterance. This immediate feedback helps therapy program participants improve the accuracy and speed with which fluency is achieved. Additionally, the device records and transmits speech patterns back to HCRI, enabling the Institute’s clinicians to further customize therapy for each program participant.
Both the iPod Touch and iPhone applications have been extremely well received among therapy participants, according to HCRI Founder and President Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D. “Signals from the speech monitor help clients stay on track as they retrain tongue, jaw, mouth and throat muscles to achieve long-term fluency,” Dr. Webster explained.
HCRI adapted the iPhone application for the iPod Touch since no phone plan is required, making it more cost-effective for therapy. There is no additional cost for program participants to use either device during HCRI’s 12-day intensive stuttering therapy program.
Hollins Communications Research Institute ), founded in 1972 by Ronald L. Webster, Ph.D., has grown into a world-leading center for the investigation and treatment of stuttering. The 501 (c) (3) nonprofit institute is unique from other stuttering organizations in that work focuses on developing scientifically based treatment methods, as well as administering stuttering therapy.
More than 5,600 people from 23 countries have come to HCRI for stuttering therapy. Clients include John Stossel of ABC TV’s 20/20 program; Arthur Blank, cofounder of Home Depot; and Annie Glenn, wife of senator and astronaut John Glenn. HCRI is located at 7851 Enon Drive, Roanoke, Virginia, 24019. Contact HCRI at email@example.com or 540-265-5650. For video speech samples and more information, visit https://www.stuttering.org .