Special educator highlighted in NASA ABC film launches iPad app for the voiceless

The special educator featured in the ABC film about special needs kids at Space Camp has launched an iPad app to help those who cannot speak.

Robynn McKinney is perhaps best known for her portrayal in the film 'A Smile as Big as the Moon' as the plucky young educator who fights the establishment to get her special needs students a NASA-quality education. McKinney is now launching an App, called SpeechHero, to give a voice to kids and young adults with speech therapy issues.

SpeechHero is an AAC iPad app which allows non-verbal kids and adults to tap their way to spoken communication. SpeechHero provides over 6000 SymbolStix image tiles to represent actions, people and things. These symbols can be combined or modified to create new tiles, and new images can be imported from camera or the web.

McKinney partnered with premier voice technology company Acapela to provide text-to-speech for the app. SpeechHero contains 7 different voices that take advantage of pauses, intonation and punctuation to provide a naturalistic voice experience.

The app also include a predictive speech mode called CoreUtterances. It pulls from thousands of commonly used phrases to generate likely speech symbols for the non-verbal user. Over time, this system can be used to learn to communicate verbally.

SpeechHero launches August 29th at the price of $99.99. It has been tested with over 40 SLPs, OTs, students and teachers. "We're amazed by the response: both kids and teachers seem to love the app!" said McKinney.

For more press info, images, photos and video, check out speechhero.com.