"Netbooks" As Communication Devices.
For those PALS who have good hand function, but just have trouble speaking, a Netbook may be the solution for you.
There is a new category of small computers called "Netbooks" that have been developed to be light and portable, suited for mainly surfing the net. For PALS who are Bulbar, meaning that only their speech and swallowing has been affected, a netbook can be used as an inexpensive communication device with LOTS of other benefits.
If a PALS wanted a commercially available communication device that had this capability, it can cost over $5000.
The Netbooks and recommended accessories cost approximately $400. With the addition of free software the Netbook turns into a communication device.
If you want to purchase one of these, these are the features to look for:
- Windows XP - the free software that allows the device to speak for you will not run on other operating systems.
- Webcam for video calls.
- 6 cell battery - this will give you a longer battery life.
Additional Accessories to consider:
- USB speakers - these will allow you to be heard more clearly when using the device for communication.
- Carrying case.
Free software that is recommended:
- E-triloquist - www.etriloquist.com - speaks what you type and has preprogrammed phrases.
- Click-N-Type - www.lakefolks.org/cnt - free onscreen keyboard if typing is difficult.
- Skype - www.skype.com - use your computer as a telephone and make video calls with a webcam. You can also use this program to type your responses while the other person speaks to you.
If you have any assistive technology related questions, you can email Ben Lieman, our Assistive Technology Specialist at BLieman@als-ny.org or call the office at 800-672-8857.
Click to go back to the Assistive Technology Communications Overview page.