WATCH | Device enables Keano to communicate

Keano Ismael with his Mom Carmen, centre, speech therapist Lara Bentley, left, and aunt Merle Canham.
I HAVE A VOICE! Keano Ismael with his Mom Carmen, centre, speech therapist Lara Bentley, left, and aunt Merle Canham.
Image: MARK ANDREWS

“Happy! Happy! Happy!” shouted Keano Ismael’s new voice, a high-tech device.

The 14-year-old Keano has grown up with cerebral palsy which has limited his vital ability for communication.

But on Friday the East London boy received a new imported augmentative and alternative (AAC) device valued at over R20,000 from Frere Hospital. This was after a thorough assessment of the young boy’s condition.

Frere Hospital issued a device for 14-year old Keano Ismael, pictured here with his mom Carmen, to allow him to communicate and express himself.
BREAKTHROUGH: Frere Hospital issued a device for 14-year old Keano Ismael, pictured here with his mom Carmen, to allow him to communicate and express himself.
Image: MARK ANDREWS

The device consists of icons which, once selected, give out a voice command of what the user is trying to say.

“Keano caught the attention of a paediatrician, Professor Gerald Boone, who was impressed when he saw him playing games on his mother's cell phone despite his condition. Through a collaboration with our paediatric and speech-language therapy department, an assessment was arranged to determine if Keano would benefit from an AAC device,” she said.

The assessment determined that Ismael had a good understanding of spoken language and was able to follow complex instructions, which further confirmed the critical need to give him a means to communicate with the world, to give him a voice. 

Watch as technology helps a boy to speak for the first time

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