App Helps Deaf Communicate

The iCommunicator program translates speech into text or sign language

The iCommunicator translates spoken words into text and signs to facilitate real-time conversations between deaf and hearing persons. PPR, Inc.

The iCommunicator is an application designed to help people who are deaf or hard of hearing communicate more effectively with others. It combines computer software and hardware and can interface with a user's hearing aids, cochlear implant speech processor or FM listening system.

The app facilitates real-time conversations by combining technologies that translate or convert spoken words into sign language, voice into text and text into speech.

Signing Library

iCommunicator includes a 30,000-word signing library and 9,000 sign language video clips. When a hearing person speaks, the program translates her words into either text or sign language and speaks a deaf user's responses aloud.

The application enables deaf people to communicate with the hearing world when a sign language interpreter isn't available. It can also increase literacy, make education more efficient, and enlarge employment opportunities that promote independence—accessibility that can help schools and employers to comply with federal mandates.

The iCommunicator is being used in K-12 education, post-secondary institutions, government agencies, health care institutions, and corporations throughout the United States and Canada.

How iCommunicator Translates Words

With iCommunicator, a hearing person speaks normally, and the software—powered by Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking—converts his spoken words into text.

A deaf user can then type a response the computer can deliver as text or say the words aloud using text-to-speech.

The iCommunicator provides three types of real-time translation:

  • Speech to text
  • Speech or text to video sign language
  • Speech or text to computer-generated voice

Once translated, a deaf or hard of hearing user can research words by:

  • Looking them up using the built-in dictionary/thesaurus
  • Executing web searches—including one-click access to Google—to learn more about the word.

iCommunicator Product Features

  • Speech recognition: iCommunicator uses Dragon NaturallySpeaking to capture spoken words and coverts them to text. Users train Dragon to understand their voice and speech idiosyncrasies with a 95-percent accuracy rate.
  • iText translation software: With one click, iText copies electronic text from web content, email, and word processing documents and copies it to the iCommunicator Text Window where it can be translated into sign language or read aloud via text-to-speech.
  • Built-in dictionary and thesaurus: This feature provides easy access to definitions, pronunciations, and usage examples, including a 250,000 English-word library.
  • Built-in text-to-speech: iCommunicator can speak what you type. Its engine speaks incoming words in real-time or recites imported text to help users improve their speech recognition and intelligibility; it also serves as voice for users who cannot speak. Users can choose a male or female voice and adjust its pitch and speed.
  • Y-Cable included: The iCommunicator provides a convenient means of connecting a peripheral hearing device, such as a hearing aid, FM system, or cochlear implant speech processor, directly to your computer.
  • Customizable settings: Users can adjust signing speed, text size and typeface, background colors, and can create "Quick Say" hot keys to have iCommunicator speak up to 21 frequently used sentences.

iCommunicator Product Benefits

iCommunicator provides users with consistent two-way communication accessible in different environments, including home, school, and the workplace. Benefits include:

  • Efficient, effective communication
  • Equal access to acoustic information
  • Improved spoken language comprehension
  • Increased language and literacy skills
  • Expanded employment opportunities
  • Enhanced independence and self-confidence