The ultimate for interactive conversation, the Lightwriter allows talking face-to-face
What is a Lightwriter?
A Lightwriter is an easy-to-use portable communication device. The user simply turns it on and types a message on the keyboard, which appears in the dual displays, and can be spoken out loud with Acapela or DECtalk speech synthesis. Scanning Lightwriters can be used by people who are unable to type.
Lightwriters are designed to help individuals with speech impairments, autism, laryngectomies, cerebral palsy, head injury, and persons with progressive conditions (i.e. ALS/MND) communicate. The Lightwriter is small, lightweight, and attractive in any situation.
Standard features of most Lightwriters:
- Dual Displays
Lightwriters are unique in having dual displays, one facing the user so they can see what they are typing, and a second out-facing display to allow communication in a natural face-to-face position. This feature alone enables face-to-face conversation as the displays are bright and the text large and easy to read, even at a distance. Listeners aren’t required to hunch over the user’s shoulders to see what’s being said.
- Custom Design
Lightwriters are specially designed to meet the particular needs of communication aid users, with high legibility displays, rugged design, portable, easy to handle, and long-life rechargeable batteries for use all day.
- Ease of Use
Most people can turn it on and type to use it, with minimal instruction or manual reading.
With Scanning Lightwriters, the first press of the scan switch turns the Lightwriter on and starts scanning, and subsequent switch presses make the selections from the scan screen. The objects on the scan screen are laid out logically for rapid communication, and these devices are found to be very easy to use.
- Acapela or DECtalk speech synthesis
DECtalk American-English male, female – and child voices included on the SL35. Speech exceptions ability is built-in for making special words sound right. Any word typed will be spoken aloud to give a natural form of communication, and allows conversation over the telephone. Acapela HQ natural voice speech synthesis is available on models Lightwriter SL40, SL38, and SL85.
Lightwriters are designed to accommodate the wide range of other disabilities which may accompany loss of speech, such as poor motor control, tremor, muscle weakness, spasticity, slow reactions, cognitive limitations, impaired vision, and deafness.
The keyboard models can be quickly changed in the field between QWERTY (English typewriter layout), ABC (alphabetical layout), AZERTY (French typewriter layout), and QWERTZ (German typewriter layout).
Scanning models can change the scan screen layout between QWERTY (English typewriter layout), ABC (alphabetical layout), and EARDU (frequency-of-use layout).
- Memory and Acceleration Functions
All Lightwriters store memories so that frequently-used words or phrases can be easily retrieved with fewer key strokes.
- Abbreviation Expansion
Most Lightwriters have Abbreviation Expansion so that frequently-used words or phrases can be stored and retrieved as a 2 or 3 key code, e.g. DC = “I’d like a drink of coffee, please.”
- Word Prediction
Most Lightwriters have word prediction included as standard (in an increasing number of languages). It includes the most frequently used words in spoken language and, even on a single line display, gives a significant reduction in keystrokes.
This word prediction facility may benefit keyboard users who are slow on the keyboard, headpointer users, poor spellers, and people who have difficulty finishing words, and gives a significant increase in communication speed.
Scanning Lightwriters assist users with vision or cognitive impairments, and permit use by people who are totally blind. Auditory Scanning is selectable to be beeps, spoken, or silent.
With Scanning Lightwriters, the first press of the scan switch turns the Lightwriter on and starts scanning, subsequent switch presses make the selections from the scan screen. The objects on the scan screen are laid out logically for rapid communication, and these devices are found to be very easy to use.Scanning Lightwriters allow different scanning methods.
- Automatic Scanning
Single-switch row/column scanning with optional auditory feedback. Operates with any single switch.
- Step Scanning
Two-switch step scanning with optional auditory feedback. One switch directs, the other selects.
- Automatic Scanning
The wide range of Lightwriters and setups allows them to be configured to meet individual needs.
- SL40 Connect (Now available in Australia!) – All new Lightwriter with Acapela HQ natural voice speech synthesiser, built-in mobile phone for call and SMS Text Messaging, and built-in trainable infra-red transmitter.
- Lightwriter SL35 – standard model with DECtalk speech synthesis
- SL38 – A Lightwriter with Acapela HQ natural voice speech synthesiser…
- SL85 – A Lightwriter designed for scanning switch access…
- SL87 – The Lightwriter with built-in scanning switch support AND a large screen to help low vision users…
To find out which Lightwriter is best for you, click here to view the Lightwriter comparison.