Invotek Lands $550,000 Grant For Children’s Speech Tool

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 93 views 

Invotek, a research and development company in Alma, Arkansas, has received a $550,000 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institutes of Health.

The grant will fund the creation of a speech generation tool giving young children with disabilities a fun and interactive way to learn and practice communication skills. PlayTalk is a collaboration of InvoTek and researchers at Penn State University.

“Approximately 675,000 children in the United States have disabilities that slow their speech development and consequently are at high risk in all aspects of development,” said Tom Jakobs, InvoTek’s president. “PlayTalk is exceptional in that it promotes communication, language, and cognitive development by these young children more effectively than other devices on the market today.”

PlayTalk uses developmentally appropriate pictures, organization, and navigational techniques so it is easy for young children to understand and use.

From initial testing, researchers found PlayTalk was fast and easy for parents and professionals to learn and use. It also provided access to vocabulary that was more responsive to children’s immediate needs.

The Phase II funding will integrate new, innovative features available for various platforms, including iPads and other tablet computers.

Founded in 1988, InvoTek specializes in applying technology to the needs of people with severe disabilities.