My name is Tyler Bartlett and I am 20. I was born with a rare neurological condition called Moebius Syndrome. This syndrome prevents me from eating and speaking. I used sign, gestures and my family are very good at guessing.
When I was 3 I got an Alpha talker. I was one of the youngest in BC to get one from Sunny Hill hospital. It was sort of heavy and though I used it well, I did not use it much. At 5 I received a Vantage through SET BC. In later years, it was replaced with a Vantage Lite. I used these mostly at school. I loved to tell jokes and write stories. I used Minspeak.
I liked the Vantage at school but it was still heavy, even the lite one. Once I could read and write well, I preferred the keyboard to the Minspeak and was in search of a smaller text to speech device. In about grade 10 I started using “Speak It” on a phone. It worked in the moment but was sort of quiet and not very quick to spell out.
Through the disability assistance service at my university, I was referred to CAYA. The CAYA team, Jan and Kathryn, set me up with “Predictable” on an iPad mini. I like the prediction and the speed I can type. It is great for presentations in class as I can save the whole thing or save it in parts. I really find the EVA case useful as I can get the angle I need wherever I am. I use the “floor hold” button to stay in the conversation. This is the best solution for me with my friends and at school.
It is amazing that BC through CAYA is giving non verbal people a voice.