Cuban computer system for language disorders

CUBAN specialists have developed a computer program to assist the rehabilitation efforts of speech therapists working with children with speech disorders and to facilitate learning for the deaf and hearing impaired.

The Magíster Vox Speech Therapy Treatment System was one of the exhibits in the Cuba stand at the Havana’s 14th International Informatics Convention 2011.


These projects show how the country is advancing in search of its own solutions in diverse sectors through the application of Information and Communications Technologies (TIC).


Magíster Vox (the first version was called Visual Vox) was developed by information and electronics specialists from the Cuban Sugar Cane Derivatives Research Institute (ICIDCA) in conjunction with a team of speech therapists and educators from the Ministry of Education (MINED).


According to the presentation, it basically comprises three operating consoles (one for the speech therapist and the other two for two students) and an interface card for audio signals connected via a USB port to a personal computer which has software compatible with new versions of Windows.


It offers different alternatives such as the visual representation of the voice through waves on the screen (patterns), video games controlled by a child’s voice, narration and printed children’s stories, data entry for follow up, and a bilingual sign language dictionary.


Speaking to Granma, Raúl Sabadí Díaz, director of the Magíster Vox project, said that the René Vilches Rojas Special School for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children in Havana’s Cerro municipality in Havana, has been using this system for three years.


However, he explained that the trials date back to 2002 when, in coordination with MINED, the first version of the system began to be used in different special schools with results which demonstrated its effectiveness in motivating students and thus accelerating their learning.


Currently work is underway to introduce Magíster Vox throughout the Cuban special education system, said Sabadí, who emphasized the importance of giving attention to speech disorders from early childhood, which has a significant effect on communication and learning.

Magíster Vox holds the 2010 Innovation Prize conferred by the Havana provincial delegation of the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment (CITMA). •




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