In Laos, World Education is a leader in disability inclusion and the education sector and has supported the Association for Autism (AfA) to develop Lao Autism Talks, a picture-based communication app that enables children with autism to communicate more effectively. Developed under the TEAM project, Lao Autism Talks is the first Lao Language AAC communication app which allows users to develop their communication skills in everyday situations.
Users are able to customize the dictionary by selecting from the 1500 word library organized into 12 categories i.e. About Me, Actions, Family, Leisure, Drink and Snacks for easy use. Users touch a picture to highlight the image and place it into a sentence slot and can press the speaker button to hear the words. The app is preloaded with a starting dictionary of 175 words to touch and talk.
For young children with autism, this app offers the opportunity to give voice to their ideas, needs, and wants as their vocabulary grows from single words to using sentences. This app will also assist those users wanting to expand their Lao vocabulary, or take the device with them when they are shopping or dining out. The app is designed for people with Autism, Down syndrome, hearing impaired communication difficulties, recovering from strokes, and with acquired brain injury.
The app has won a number of awards including first prize in the Lao ICT Awards aimed to promote creativity and innovation among Lao ICT companies as well as a silver medal at the ASEAN ICT Awards in Cambodia in November 2017 which aims to recognize the best ICT achievements among entrepreneurs across the ASEAN region.