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Adaptive technologies have helped Stephen Hawking, and many more, find their voice

From job automation to the many pitfalls of social media, the technological progress of the past several decades has had mixed social consequences, to put it mildly. However, one of the rare frontiers where tech advances have greatly improved lives with very little downside is in the area of alternative and augmentative communication aids (AACs). Taking many forms and with mutiple uses beyond person-to-person communication, these devices help to give people with speaking disabilities a voice in a society where their rich inner worlds and distinctive points of view are often overlooked. In this short animation, the UK filmmaker Jemima Hughes, who uses an AAC herself, explains how these technologies have evolved, and why, when engaging with someone who uses an AAC, patience is essential.

Director: Jemima Hughes

Website: BBC Ideas

20 June 2022

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