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New Keyboard Helps Disabled Communicate

Monday, December 21st, 2015 by | Filed Under: Android

SwiftKey makes a nifty little keyboard app that can make your phone or tablet much easier to use. Once you install it, you can “draw” lines to keys to form words instead of trying to hunt and peck with one finger. The app learns the words you use frequently and enables you to type faster and more accurately on your keyboard.

The developers have a new app out called SwiftKey Symbols. This symbol-based keyboard app for Android is designed to help young, special-needs users who have limited verbal skills communicate better.


Members of the SwiftKey staff who have family members with Autism got together to come up with a free app that could help those with talking and learning difficulties communicate more easily with their family members.

The visited a school that specializes in kids with learning difficulties and worked with the staff and pupils to come up with the app.

The developers say that a lot of current (and somewhat expensive) communication tools are slow to respond and frustrate the kids. Using the predictive technology from the SwiftKey keyboard, they designed this new app.  Since it’s an Android app, no additional special tools other than an Android device are required.


The app learns about its user in order to predict what the user is trying to say. It can even factor in the day and time to personalize the predictions. If a child has music class on Wednesdays at 1 p.m, on Wednesdays at the that time,  can select symbols related to that class.

Users can also add in their own images. Plus the app features speech to text – and can read out a sentence typed in by a child.

This app could also be useful to those who have lost their ability to communicate easily due to a stroke or other type of brain injury.

You can check out SwiftKey Symbols in the Google Play Store by clicking here.

~ Cynthia

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