Interesting inspiration for an app:
It is Victor who has provided renewed inspiration for Pauca’s work. Born with a rare genetic disorder called Pitt-Hopkins syndrome, which limits language and movement, the boy was dependent on bulky and expensive communication devices that often broke down.
So Pauca and his students, who were introduced to Victor and other children with disabilities at his special school, set to work using their skills to develop a smartphone app that cheaply and efficiently allows people with speech problems to communicate. They named it Verbal Victor.
“You don’t think about things like this if you haven’t had experience with the disabled,” Pauca says. Academic researchers “typically go to conferences [and] present papers. But working on Verbal Victor has been different. It’s more palpable.”