The Augmentative Communication Program (ACP) at Boston Children’s Hospital has received a $1.5 million donation to set up a program focused on improving the quality of life of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) adult patients.
“If you could not speak and you want to say to someone, ‘I’m thirsty,’ a computer-generated synthetic voice is fine. If, however, you want to tell your child, ‘I’m so proud of you,’ you want it to come from you in your own voice,” John Costello, program director, commented.
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with no cure to date. The new program will be dedicated to promoting the development and adoption of comprehensive technologies with services like ‘message banking’ — which will allow ALS patients to communicate in their own voice. This proactive measure will enable patients to remain in direct contact with their family and friends throughout disease progression.