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For the first time ever, communication and speech impaired Italian children will have the possibility to express their thoughts, desires and needs with a voice that they like. For many children this will be a life-changing opportunity.
For decades, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) solutions have given a voice to children who cannot speak. Until recently, children with communication difficulties only had access to adult text to speech voices to relay their thoughts, needs and desires.
In 2012, we proudly unveiled with AssistiveWare the world’s first genuine, natural-sounding children’s voices, in British English, providing a voice to over 74,000 children and teens in England who cannot speak for themselves. We then started to develop children’s voices in other languages.
Acapela Group is the only voice specialist worldwide to offer users a rich repertoire of 20 children’s voices which are truly lifelike.
The Italian children’s voices are joining a cheerful band of voices that already enable young users around the world to speak – in English (British, American, Australian), French, German, Norwegian, Swedish and bilingual American English/North American Spanish.
AAC solutions combined with tablets have revolutionized the industry, allowing the development of innovative approaches to help people with specific needs achieve greater autonomy. The voice synthesis developed by Acapela gives users the means to better interact with the people around them.
The Italian children’s voices have been developed in collaboration with Helpicare, a company dedicated to meeting special needs and to providing AAC solutions for the Italian market and AssistiveWare, the leader in AAC apps for iOS.
Helpicare has brought its knowledge and expertise of the Italian market and has been actively involved in casting, recordings and helping us achieve very high quality voices for Aurora and Alessio.
We have been working with AssistiveWare since the genuine children’s voices were introduced as a world first. The Italian voices will become available in Infovox iVox, Proloquo4Text and Pictello later this year.
All our children’s voices have specific voice smileys that ensure a truly lifelike, spontaneous and lively audio result.
Here are some samples of voice smileys used by Aurora and Alessio: Accidenti!, Buona giornata!, Che bello!, Davvero!, Esatto!, Favoloso!, Grazie!, Hai capito!, Imbecille!, Lascia perdere!, Mamma mia!, Oh mio Dio!, Perfetto!, Roba da matti!, Sbrigati!, Ti amo!, Vittoria!, … There is also laughter, swallowing, specific sounds for a cat or a dog, a monkey, bee, horse, train, sirens, etc.