C-board helps Seid to communicate
A boy with speech impairment uses assistive technology that supports his development
Podgorica, 1 December 2021 – Seid is a cheerful, calm six-year-old who goes to kindergarten and likes to listen to music. He was born with a speech impairment. Since he started using the new Communication Board (C-board) application, he has been able to communicate using symbols, and this lets his parents and three siblings understand more easily, how he is feeling and what he wants.
The C-board application was developed through the “A Voice for Every Child” programme, led by Montenegro’s Bureau for Education Services with support from UNICEF.
“Before C-board, if he had toothache that made him upset and cry, we could not immediately understand what was wrong and what was hurting,” says Dorina Ljuca, Seid’s mother.
“Now, when he wants to eat grapes, he finds that symbol on the screen, points to it with his finger and then a voice generated by the app says – I want to eat grapes".
C-board helps children with disabilities to develop pointing gestures and to become more skilled in communication. It encourages verbalization and facilitates socialization with their family and other children. Seid uses the C-board application to help him in kindergarten and in the Resource Centre for children with disabilities.
His preschool teacher, Snezana Scekic says that the activities in kindergarten, such as eating breakfast and lunch and going to the toilet, are included in the application.
“I notice that Seid is interested in the application and that he is happy to use it. When he shows exactly what he wants, we reward him".
Teaching assistant, Mirnela Muratovic also thinks that Seid now communicates more easily with her and other teachers.
‘’The C-board app takes a little getting used to. To encourage Seid, we created activities in kindergarten using the C-board symbols – and he was able to see how these symbols let him communicate with us and with other children”.
Since the C-board app was launched in 2019, a total of 75 children with speech and language impairments have received this application. Professionals from three Resource Centres and teaching staff from five kindergartens and schools in Podgorica, Niksic, and Bar work with children to use this app.
Anita Maric from the Bureau for Education explains that the C-board application is an assistive tool designed to help children communicate their lack of verbal and non-verbal communication. The C-board is helping families and teachers become more aware of their children’s full potential.
“We can use assistive technology to educate children and help them develop, communicate, and participate. This is what the C-board application was designed to do, and the results are good".
The programme, “A Voice for Every Child” was launched by the Bureau for Education Services in 2019. The programme expanded in 2021 and is part of an EU-funded project aimed at mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of children and families in the Western Balkans and Turkey.