'Holodeck' For Speech Therapy Moves Forward

By Michelle
February 4, 2007 - 3:51 PM

Researchers are moving forward on the use of a holodeck-inspired device to help treat patients who stutter and have other speech disorders.

KING5.com in Seattle has an article about the futuristic laboratory, which looks like a small movie theatre but is designed to mimic events in the real world so that patients can practice interacting with people.

As previously reported, the project was developed by Dr. Stacy Williams of Case Western Reserve University.

"It's able to bridge the skills that they're receiving downstairs at the Cleveland Hearing and Speech center as well as with the outside world with what they live with every day," Williams explained. She uses a computer to create virtual situations so that patients can practice their skills.

"We can actually create any type of training situation with the touch of a button," said Williams, who found that patients responded well to this "safe environment" for honing their conversational skills. Williams is hoping to use the equipment on children as well as adults.

"It's a really amazing learning tool," said Michael Molinaro, who is studying to be a speech pathologist. "They're learning how to interact with people, how to ask important questions, how to gather information, think critically about it, come to a good decision or diagnosis."

The original article is here.

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