Client Shows House Speaker How to ‘Talk’ with iPad

  An Independence House resident demonstrates how her iPad lets her "talk" to Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon.

An Independence House resident demonstrates how her iPad lets her "talk" to Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon.

Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon (D-Freeport) recently stopped by Independence House in her hometown and got a short lesson in how iPads enable communication for adults with limited verbal ability.

Clients use iPads to "speak" for them by means of icons they touch to produce spoken words. The process of setting up the most useful icon screens for a given client can take a significant amount of time and thought. But nonverbal adults who gain effective communication gains dramatic life improvement. Suddenly,  they can express themselves and be understood! The experience is transformative.

Independence House is home to six adults with intellectual disabilities, many of whom spend much of their day in the community. It is one of four homes our agency opened when Maine closed its Freeport Town Center residence and dispersed the 12 clients who lived there.

  House Speaker Sara Gideon, left, with Amy Davis, associate director of residential services, and a resident of Independence House .

House Speaker Sara Gideon, left, with Amy Davis, associate director of residential services, and a resident of Independence House.

Andrew Edwards