I’ve mentioned here before that I use an Ipad instead of a dedicated communication aid these days. While they aren’t specifically designed to assist people with communication like my Lightwriter was, I find using the Ipad has various other advantages: having one on my lap when I’m out and about is extremely useful, allowing me to do anything from make notes to – when I’m connected to a Wifi network – checking my Email or Facebook. I find it practical and handy. The app I use for communication is called Proloquo2go, very kindly installed for me by the teachers I work with at school. It’s a very cool app which I can’t really fault. It has both minspeak and ordinary typing modes, the latter of which I use. It has a very good prediction system, meaning I can say what I need to quite quickly.
However, I have noticed something odd (and slightly disturbing) about it which I just want to note: the prediction system seems to have a religious, christian bias. It constantly suggests christian words for me. That is, when I type J it always suggests ‘Jesus’; when I type G it suggests ‘God’ and so on, irrespective of the context. Perhaps I shouldn’t mind, but as an atheist I resent having religion imposed upon me in this way. The app seems to assume that it’s users want to talk about religion and religious figures they might not believe in – I certainly don’t. Of course, this is only a minor issue, and no reason to start looking for another speech app; but I really don”t like the way in which whoever designed this speech app chose to force their faith upon whoever uses it.