Texas teenager creates app to give non-verbal sister a voice

CYPRESS, Texas — Archer Calder, a teenager from Cypress, Texas, grew up unable to converse with his younger sister, Della. She has a rare genetic disorder called Bainbridge-Ropers Syndrome that renders her unable to speak.

“Even if she wasn’t able to talk to me, I would still want to talk to her and tell her that I love her and that she means a lot to me,” Archer said.

After the family tried several expensive assistive and alternative communication apps (or AAC) to help Della communicate, Archer decided to use his programming skills and create an app himself called Freespeech. The app allows users to select buttons that represent words.

“Freespeech is different from many other pieces of AAC software. Number one, it’s free,” Archer said. “Freespeech also differs from all other AAC apps in that it’s open source.”

Freespeech website is free for anyone to use and other programmers can also add their own features to the app.

Archer has been working with other programmers to improve the app, hoping Freespeech can help as many people as possible.

Editor’s Note: This was originally published in August 2022.

https://6abc.com/communication-app-teenager-builds-bainbridge-ropers-syndrome-augmentative-and-alternative/12180828/ Texas teenager creates app to give non-verbal sister a voice

Alley Einstein

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