iPad App Helps Disabled Man ‘Speak’ For First Time In 20 Years

An iPad app is reportedly enabling a paralyzed and brain-damaged man to communicate after two decades of silence.

Kevin Beverley of the UK was severely beaten in a random attack in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, 20 years ago, and has been confined to a wheelchair since then as a result of catastrophic injuries. The attack also caused him to lose the ability to talk.

A speech-to-text iPad touchscreen app called Grid Player has changed all that.

According to London’s Daily Mail, the free tablet app offers several methods of communication:

“The app has three options to spell out sentences, including already-written phrases and predictive text … Mr. Beverley also plays games on the iPad to help improve his hand-eye coordination.”

Beverley, 55, was able to ask the staff of the rehab facility where he lives for a cup of tea, a perhaps mundane request that would have been impossible otherwise. The facility apparently only owns two iPads.

Via the iPad, he said “It is so good to be able to speak again,” according to the Mirror of London.

According to The Star,

“[Beverley] was given access to the new technology at the Carlton Resource Center in Barnsley, which is operated by The Disabilities Trust, a charity providing care and support for people with complex and challenging disabilities.”

A spokesman for the Disabilities Trust had this to say about Kevin Beverley’s ability to speak through an iPad:

“It was an amazing result — Kevin had a voice to speak with. It is the first time he has been able to communicate with people in an effective manner for well over 20 years.”