Since 2009, we have been the leader in app development for speech therapists and children with speech and language delays. May is better hearing and speech month, and we want to give everyone a chance to use our apps and discover why Smarty Ears is speech therapists’s favorite app development company. Several of our apps are on sale until 5/12/2013. Make sure to take advantage of it before it is too late:
1. Language Adventures
Price: from $24.99 to $14.99
2. Reading Rehabilitation Toolkit
Price: from $9.99 to 7.99
3. Syllables Splash
Price: $9.99 to $5.99
4. Pro-PA ( Profile of Phonological Awareness)
Price: $29.99 – $14.99
5. Minimal Pairs Academy
Price: $29.99 to $19.99
6. Apraxia Ville
Price: $24.99 – to $19.99
7. Reading Comprehension Camp
Price: $24.99 to $14.99
8. Syntax City
Price: $24.99 to $14.99
Original story from TCU Magazine
by Rick Waters ’95
Updated: Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Barbara Fernandes ’08 MA is the founder and CEO of Smarty Ears apps, an industry leader in speech therapy and assistive technology. (Photo by Carolyn Cruz)
Barbara Fernandes ’08 MA still calls it the “a-ha moment.”
In fall 2008, she was a first-year speech pathologist and language evaluator for the Irving school district, the only bilingual therapist in the district, when she met Michael, a 5-year-old preschooler who had not spoken at school in his first two months. His teacher suspected autism.
Fernandes knew the boy liked cars and trains, but he had little interest in talking or looking at flashcards with her. He did, however, think her mobile phone was a toy with which he could entertain himself.
Rather than put the device away, Fernandes did a search for “transportation,” downloaded some images of various vehicles and handed over her iPhone.
“Boat,” the boy whispered. “Plane.”
His voice grew louder and more assured.
“He just began naming them. I was just trying to get him to speak, for him to say a word, and this unlocked him,” she said. “I never expected to have that kind of immediate response.”
The iPhone was less than a year old then, but Fernandes realized paper flashcards were an ancient technology and mobile devices had worlds of possibility with images and sound and animation.
A technophile growing up in Brazil, Fernandes tinkered with her own website growing up and had come to the United States to study assistive technology, but now she had a vision for how it could be used in schools and homes with children with disabilities and their parents.
In fall 2009, she published her first app under the name Smarty Ears. It featured the entire phonetic alphabet with corresponding sounds, words and images for each letter or blend. She took it to conferences and got a lukewarm response.
“Most people were very resistant at first, but some were really intrigued,” she said. “I was surprised it wasn’t 100 percent.”
But families loved it. What used to be a frustrating daily practice was now being seen as play.
As word-of-mouth spread to practitioners and they tried it, the app began selling fast. By then, Fernandes was about to release her second app — on conjugating verbs — and had four more in the works.
In the spring of 2010, Apple released the iPad and Smarty Ears “really took off,” she said.
“It pushed me to make my old apps better,” she said. “The tablet is really the ideal size for working with children.”
Now, Fernandes has 60 apps in English, Spanish and her native Portuguese and is considered a pioneer in the speech therapy industry. Ranging in cost from $1.99 to $49.99, Smarty Ears apps are the No. 1 brand with more than 150,000 downloads and are used in more than 40 countries, covering language development, articulation, autism, aphasia and voice disorders.
Fernandes and her husband Jonathan, a former English teacher who now helps craft the curriculum, employ six programmers, illustrators and interface designers. Smarty Ears has published 26 authors in nearly every practice within speech pathology and language evaluation. The company also has an 11-member advisory board of experts, parents and teachers.
Those first Smarty Ears apps seem primitive compared to the ones the company makes now, which include games, stories and animation that rival computer games and Saturday morning cartoons. Voice recording and camera technology also soup up the experience, allowing students to listen and watch their own mouths form phonics and sounds. There are also sophisticated reporting components built in, which track students’ scores and allow speech therapists to monitor progress.
Now, Fernandes is a highly sought speaker at conferences and is considered an expert in assistive technology.
“I have people come up to me now who just want to shake my hand or take a picture with me like I am some personality,” she said. “It’s gratifying to see the impact this is having.”
Smarty Ears has partnered with iMums to give away an iPad mini!
The prize package, which totals to over $400, includes all you need to get started:
- A new Apple iPad mini 16GB WiFi;
- A Cygnett Workmate shock-absorbing iPad mini case;
- A huge collection of apps to kickstart your iTunes library!
Please enter via the Rafflecopter widget on the iMums page. The giveaway is open worldwide, you must be over 18 years old to enter. The winners must contact The iMums within 48 hours of being announced to claim their prize and must have a valid postal address. We notify winners by email as well as announcing on our website, so make sure info(at)theimum.com is on your safe senders list so the email doesn’t get caught in your spam filter or junk mail folder.
There is no charge to enter this giveaway – you just need to give some social media love and help us spread the word about the giveaways. There is one mandatory step to complete- the blog post comment, any additional steps are completely optional. However, you must complete all steps on the iMums page to be able to unlock the other options. The more steps you complete, the more entries you will have in the giveaway. When the winners name is drawn their entry will be verified and they will be disqualified if they have not done the steps they claim to have done. Please ensure you have read and understand our Terms & Conditions. Good luck!
DALLAS, TX (May 4, 2012) – Award-winning educational mobile app company, Smarty Ears has released four innovative educational apps, Fun and Functional, Categories Learning Center, Go-Together, and Learning Adventures, that were designed to effectively aid in improving children’s language and speech communication skills. In addition, the apps enable teachers, parents, and speech therapists to utilize these convenient tools to enhance their sessions and tailor each treatment for each student’s specific needs.
Designed by Speech-Language Pathologists, Nichole Hanneken Ontis and Danielle Sears, Language Adventures is a theme-based game board that incorporates standard game play settings such as dice rolling, token moving, and player selection. This exciting app helps children develop vocabulary, naming, and description in the context of a real-world setting such as the classroom, cafeteria, and playground. With its exciting interface and colorful graphics, this visually appealing app can be used by multiple players with different skill levels and target goals.
“I have personally used Language Adventures with students in 6th through 12th grade. The students are very excited to use the app and frequently ask to play it!” said co-author, Nichole Hanneken Ontis, “The app set-up makes it easy enough for students to learn while playing independently in a small group, yet allows endless opportunities for the therapist or teacher to build on the context-based questions to increase learning opportunities for increasing language skills. The data tracking within the app has allowed me to track their increased progress over sessions and has made it easier as a therapist to collect data and be involved in the app use. Having the 3 level game boards and hundreds of target words has made this app a great therapy tool that can be used over many sessions without the students getting bored with it.”
Fun and Functional and Go-Together were both authored by SLP, Rosie Simms and were created to improve language comprehension and expression in children. Fun and Functional helps children to identify and describe how real-world objects function, thus strengthening their language and life skills while Go-Together targets categories of items and helps children to identify objects with a semantic association. These customizable apps effectively measures receptive activity and can be used by individuals in all age groups.
The fourth app recently released by Smarty Ears, Categories Learning Center helps students build their memory, word retrieval, and vocabulary skills which are vital for them to effectively listen, speak, read, and write. Authored by Barbara and Mary Huston, Categories Learning Center increases receptive and expressive vocabulary through picture stimuli and aids individuals with category naming and category selections.
“Through sorting items into categories and subcategories – for example, not just animals, but also ‘animals that live on a farm,’ children can develop key word networks that help them learn and retrieve vocabulary words,” stated Sean Sweeney, Production Development Manager for Smarty Ears. “Categories are everywhere in our world, and though students with language difficulties struggle with verbal organization, this app provides an engaging way to work on these skills…”
All four apps, which are currently available in the iTunes apps store, can be used with an iPad, running on IOS 4.0 higher. Fun and Functional and Go-Together are also compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. The prices of these easy-to-use apps range from $9.99 to $19.99.
For more information about Fun and Functional, Categories Learning Center, Go-Together, Learning Adventures and other Smarty Ears products, visit smartyearsapps.com or contact Smarty Ears at email@example.com.
We will be giving away one app per day for the whole month of April. In order to participate you must sign up on our website or on our Facebook page. Winners will be announced on our Facebook page daily at 6 pm central time. Parents, Speech Pathologists, and special education teachers are welcomed to apply for a chance to win one of our 38 apps for iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.
Sing up for the giveaway here:
Email Marketing You Can Trust
You only need to enter once and you will have a chance to win everyday!
See below past winers:
4/17/2012 – Language Adventures – Naomi Hertsberg
4/18/2012 – Go-Togethers – Natalia De La Rosa, California.
4/19/2012 – Fun & functional - Patti Vogt, Missouri.
4/20/2012 – Articulate it! - Kari Lokken, Minnesota.
4/21/12 – Custom Boards - Jessica Ashford, California.
4/22/12 – Custom Boards - Christine Carey, Wisconsin.
4/23/12 – Custom Boards - Tracey Fraser, Manitoba, Canada.
4/24/2012 – iPractice Verbs – Debbie Barron, Michigan.
4/25/2012 – Categories Learning Center - Jaclyn Molina, Texas.
4/26/2012 – iName it – Ann D’Agostino, Massachusetts.
4/27/12- Sunny Articulation Phonology Test- Kari Robinson, Indiana.
4/28/12- Profile of Phonological Awareness – Lisa Truitt, New Jersey.
4/29/12 – SLP Goal Bank – Pam Palmer, Virginia.
4/30/12 – Preposition Remix - Md. Sohel Ahmed - Bangladesh.
Dallas, TX (March 22, 2012) – Approximately one million people in America (one out of 275 adults) suffer from some form of Aphasia and/or Apraxia. As a result, the majority of these individuals face word finding difficulties, the inability to think of and retrieve the right words. Clinicians have created several evidence-based cueing strategies for word finding. However, it has been difficult to pinpoint a universal approach that is suitable for patients as each individual’s case is different and requires mixed or combined approaches for successful treatment. Therefore, it is essential to have a tool that incorporates each of these approaches in order to effectively help patients with various levels of communication.
iName it is the first app to provide patients with a simple, systematic way to retrieve target words depicted in a realistic visual scene and enhanced by the five types of evidence-based cueing strategies. Each target word can be elicited by one or more of the available cues. iName it enables speech therapists to use a combination of the cueing options to meet the needs of a wide range of patients with varying communication levels.
Published by Smarty Ears, iName it was created by certified Speech-Language Pathologists, Elizabeth Begley and Mary Pitti to assist individuals with word finding difficulties that are secondary to Aphasia and/or Apraxia. “This app is essential for every SLP who works with people who have Aphasia. The app targets basic functional words that people use on a daily basis. The target words are found in attractive visual displays that are realistic. The user has several cueing methods to choose from when trying to elicit the target word. This app is bound to be your favorite in your collection,” states Mary Pitti, Clinic Program Director and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at Ithaca College.
iName it includes fifty word finding items that are typically found in the household and around the community. By using the household visual scenes such as the garage, kitchen, bathroom, and living room, patients’ word finding skills will significantly improve.
“Clients can select a room in the house and then work with a therapist, spouse, or alone, to name relevant items in the room. While the target item becomes central in the screen, the context of the room is always visible in the background. In addition, the ‘adult look’ of the items and scenes will appeal to older individuals who often reject childlike or cartoon images. This app encourages and reinforces multiple practices both in the therapy setting and at home,” says co-author, Elizabeth Begley of the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Clinic at the College Station Medical Center.
iName it can be used by speech-language pathologists, family members, and individuals with word finding difficulties. The easy-to-use app is designed for adults, but it is appropriate for all ages. “I am amazed at the number of adult clients who buy iPads and are just looking for appropriate apps to aid in their language recovery. iName it can be an excellent adjunct to regaining naming competence,” Begley adds.
iName it is currently available for $14.99 and can be purchased from the iTunes app store: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iname-it/id486781414?mt=8. The app is compatible with the iPad running iOS 4.0 or above.
For more information about Smarty Ears or iName it, please visit smartyearsapps.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Articulate It! And Custom Boards are two of five finalists chosen to compete in the ‘Favorite Special-Needs App’ Category
San Francisco, CA (March 5, 2012)–We are pleased to announce that Smarty Ears’ apps, Articulate It! and Custom Boards have been selected as two of five finalists in the 2012 Readers’ Choice Awards for “Favorite Special-Needs App,” presented by About.com. The popular annual reader-driven awards program highlights the best products, services, and features in hundreds of categories that span across a majority of About.com’s channels from technology to hobbies.
Smarty Ears was founded in 2009 by Speech and Language Pathologist, Barbara Fernandes. Smarty Ears is an innovative company that specializes in creating mobile educational apps and has quickly emerged as the leader in creating convenient, affordable, and easy-to-use apps that serve the needs of parents, speech therapists, teachers and, students with speech, language, and hearing disabilities. Smarty Ears currently provides users with over 32 mobile apps and 3 Android apps.
“We greatly appreciate the positive responses that our products have been receiving and are humbled by the recognition About.com’s readers are giving Custom Boards and Articulate It!” said Fernandes.
Custom Boards and Articulate It! were created to help improve children’s speech and language skills. Custom Boards serves a visual support system that enables teachers, parents, and speech therapists to enhance learning for each child with special needs. The app also provides parents with an affordable way to aid their child at home, creating a link between the child’s learning environments and reinforcing the learning process. With the Smarty Symbols’ advanced and comprehensive library of over 11,000 symbols incorporated into the app, Custom Boards offers its users a pool of templates to create customized communication boards, schedules, and meaningful activities. Custom Boards was launched on October 6, 2001 and quickly became the #3 Bestselling Educational App on iTunes.
Articulate it! was created to help parents and speech therapists improve the speech of children with delays in speech. This universal app contains over 1 thousand pictures and includes all of the phonemes of the English language. Articulate it! is currently the only application on iTunes that enables speech therapists to work with a group of students simultaneously, which is a great need in school settings.
We encourage each of our users to show their support by voting for their favorite Smarty Ears’ app. To vote, visit the following link: http://specialchildren.about.com/b/2012/02/22/vote-for-favorite-special-needs-app.htm.
Users can vote for Custom Boards or Articulate It! once per day until March 21. About.com will announce the winner on March 30.
For more information about Articulate It!, Custom Boards, or other Smarty Ears’ products or how to vote in the poll, contact us at email@example.com.
December 26, 2011, San Francisco, CA – Smarty Ears is proud to announce Sean Sweeney as the company’s Product Development Manager. Sean will manage and help create new apps for Smarty Ears as well as collaborate with authors to develop ideas and bring their projects to life in an app format.
Sean is quite the expert in the industry. Sean holds a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Boston University and an additional master’s degree in Instructional Technology from Framingham State College. He has served as a Private Practitioner for the past eight years at the Ely Center, located in Newton, MA, in which he provides treatment to clients with social communication issues. Sean has 10+ years of experience as a school-based Speech-Language Pathologist and he has also worked in the public school district as an Instructional Technology Specialist.
In 2010, Sean created the blog, SpeechTechie.com, to share info with users on how to integrate technology into speech therapy and soon after, won the 2010 Best New Blog from Edublogs. He not only authors his own blog, but he also contributes to the popular industry blogs, ASHAsphere and the Mindwing Concepts Blog. Consequently, Sean has spent the past few years providing consultations and making presentations at conferences, area clinics, and the annual national ASHA convention. He has presented on topics concerning webtools, apps, and social media venues that SLPs can use to enhance their practice.
“I am hugely excited to join the Smarty Ears team! My experience in Instructional Technology in educational settings was primarily geared around helping teachers use (and in many cases work around) the features of available tech tools in order to meet their lesson objectives. In my role with Smarty Ears, it will be wonderful to be able to actually design tools for SLPs that are customized to clinical needs!” Sean expresses, “As an SLP, I have always been a fan of products that provide a broad context and strategies that can be implemented outside treatment sessions. I hope to apply that strategic and contextual focus toward developing apps that directly target language and literacy skills, while engaging students by taking advantage of the interactive potential of iDevices.”
Barbara Fernandes, Founder and CEO of Smarty Ears, “We are glad to have such a talented SLP join our team. We have watched all the great work he has done in promoting the integration of technology into therapy on his blog and we look forward to the great work he will do as the Smarty Ears App Development Manager.”
For more information, contact Smarty Ears at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.smartyearsapps.com.
Dallas, Texas – Smarty Ears attended the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) convention on November 17-19, 2011 in San Diego, California. The 2011 ASHA convention, which was held at the San Diego Convention Center, provided over 12,000 speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists with the latest technology and evidence based research that will help advance their knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively aid individuals with speech disorders. Featuring over 200 vendors, the ASHA convention is well known for providing ground-breaking tools and resources that speech therapists can incorporate into their sessions and ultimately, improve the learning and verbalization process of children and adults with communication delays or disabilities. This year one vendor stood out from the others, Smarty Ears demonstrated their revolutionary speech therapy apps in the vendor booth #1023.
Barbara Fernandes, Smarty Ears’ CEO, is among a number of distinguished presenters who presented on Thursday on “Using Evidence-Based Articulation Therapy” and on Saturday on “All about the iPad for Speech Therapy”. Both auditoriums were full, with attendees sitting on the floor or standing in the back of the room. Fernandes was applauded throughout the presentation as she demonstrated the wonders of Smarty Ears apps to a full room of top notch Speech-Language pathologists.
It was clear from these three days that Smarty Ears is the most liked, respected, and recognized company in terms of apps for speech therapists. “It felt great to have people come by our booth and want to shake my hand just to say, ‘thank you for making my life easier,’” said Fernandes. Smarty Ears was the first company to integrate speech therapy into mobile applications. The company has grown significantly since their first appearance at the 2010 ASHA convention in which 12 apps were presented; within a year, Smarty Ears has swiftly become the leader in speech therapy mobile apps development with over 29 apps for iOS devices and 3 Android apps.
Smarty Ears released two brand new apps during the American Speech and Hearing Convention in San Diego: Custom Boards & Dysphagia2Go. Authored by Dyspahagia Specialists, Tiffani Wallace and John DuBois, Dyspahagia2Go is an easy-to-use app that administers swallowing assessments and assists clinical speech experts in properly evaluating patients with Dyspahagia; it is among the Top 25 Medical Apps featured in the iTunes app store.
Custom Boards is a popular and cost-efficient speech therapy app that serves as an activity creation center and visual support system, enabling speech-language pathologists, special education teachers, and parents of children who need symbols for communicating and learning to create and print meaningful activities, schedules, and communication boards. Custom Boards was recently released on October 6, 2011 and quickly became the third Bestselling Educational App on iTunes.
Smarty Ears was established in 2009 by ASHA-certified Speech Pathologist and CEO, Barbara Fernandes. She has organized many initiatives that have transformed the lives of many people. She states, “The smiles I see on the therapists when I show them our products: that’s what makes this all worth it. Reading the several emails with positive comments and reviews about our apps is rewarding; however, meeting users and showing them how the app works in person I get to experience nothing but gratitude and enthusiasm.”
It is without a doubt that, with Smarty Ears, speech therapists and teachers can provide individuals the best tools possible that will facilitate learning efficiently while fostering proper communication skills.
For more information about Smarty Ears, visit our website.
* Compatible with iPad
* Requires iOS 4.0 or later
* 10.8 MB – Dysphagia2Go
* 387 MB – Custom Boards
Pricing and Availability:
Dysphagia2Go 1.0 is $99.99 USD and Custom Boards 1.1 is $69.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store.
The iPad has brought about a revolution in special education with its affordable and effective apps that are impacting children with special needs. While speech pathologists and educators have been searching for convenient and cost-effective tools that will provide visual support for children with Autism, Smarty Ears, an innovative company that specializes in creating speech therapy apps, is announcing the release of Custom Boards. Custom Boards is the first app of its kind and it is set to also bring about a revolution for special education. It was designed to serve as a board and activity creation center for speech therapists, special education teachers, and parents of children who need symbols for learning and communicating.
Custom Boards was created to offer teachers, parents, and speech therapists the tools they need to support learning for each of their students while providing parents with an affordable way to facilitate continued learning at home, creating a link between learning environments and strengthening students’ process of learning.
Custom Boards serves as a visual support system that enables speech and language pathologists, teachers, and parents to create and print meaningful activities, schedules, and communication boards. This excellent app allows users to select from a pool of templates in three areas: Communication Boards, Schedules, and Activities. Custom Boards includes over 11,000 symbols from the Smarty Symbols library. The Smarty Symbols library is advanced and comprehensive with vocabulary that is organized into semantic and meaningful categories (such as communication and expressions) and features a unique low frequency vocabulary not found in any other symbol library. By utilizing Custom Boards, users can save, print directly from the iPad, and email countless templates.
Custom Boards has the flexibility of being used on the go, at school, in therapy sessions, and even at home. “I created individual boards using Custom Boards for many of my students today. Articulation pictures for some, requesting for others and vocabulary for all!” stated Cindy L. Meester, an educator who recently purchased Custom Boards, “I even made a game board to use with a theme unit for fall. And I can save them to use again and again! I can print them off for home practice too.” The reviews on iTunes also show the level of excitement that Custom Boards is generating: “A Must Have App! Intense! Universal! Multi-Functional! Adaptive! Ingenious! is this App. It is well-suited to meet any Therapist, Teacher, Parent, and Child’s needs. This app has set a new bar for board creations,” review by beVerbal.
Older computer-based programs charge between $399 and $799 for their software; Custom Boards, available in the app store for only $69.99, is a product that educators, speech pathologists, and parents can afford and use in various learning environments. Custom Boards is cost-effective, user-friendly, insightful, and easy to use.
Custom Boards can be purchased from the iTunes app store. The product was officially launched on October 6, 2011 and quickly became the #3 Bestselling Educational App on iTunes.
For more information about Custom Boards and Smarty Symbols, visit us and watch the video tutorial before purchasing at www.smartyearsapps.com
In the wake of companies across the U.S. facing difficulties in attracting and hiring speech pathologists, Smarty Ears, an innovative company in the field of speech pathology, has launched an app for the iPad that is currently used by thousands of qualified and tech savvy speech pathologists. SLP Spots is a free iPad app that allows companies to post job openings for a fraction of what they currently spend on traditional media advertising. It gives speech and language pathologists the opportunity to browse the job openings and post their resumes.
Companies that hire speech pathologists spend numerous hours making direct phone calls and browsing through online resumes, hoping to find a therapist to fill the thousands of open positions across the country. The current shortage in the field of speech pathology has forced companies, school districts, and hospitals to spend a great amount of time, making enormous efforts to find a therapist that is available for the position. At the same time, employment in this field is expected to grow 19 percent, thus companies need a clever and innovative way to reach them. In the past, companies heavily relied on websites such as Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com to post their job openings. However, their ads have become lost in a sea of countless irrelevant or unrelated job openings from companies across the globe.
The iPad and Google Maps are remarkable technologies that have been made available to us. SLP Spots has decided to take advantage of this opportunity to make job matching for speech pathologists easier and hassle free. The map feature allows speech pathologists to view the location of the available positions on the Google Map directly on their iPad; this map even allows speech therapists to actually see how far each opening is from their own home. SLP Spots will have each available opportunity mapped out so SLPs can see which cities are displaying the jobs they are specifically looking for.
Barbara Fernandes, the CEO of Smarty Ears, informs us that with SLP Spots, “speech pathologists can utilize a search filtering feature that was built specifically for speech pathologists and include filters such as setting, population served, and certification level. This is an extremely useful feature not only for SLPs but also for companies.”
SLP Spots is currently available in the app store. It has been already downloaded by nearly two thousand speech pathologists, and the number is rapidly growing daily. While SLPs download the app for free to use, post resumes, and browse through job posts, companies pay an affordable price through an in-app purchase to place their ad on SLP Spots. The ad will become visible, immediately after purchase on the app store, to the over 20 million people who use an iPad and purchase apps through the iTunes store. There is no doubt that SLP Spots give companies the resources they need to conveniently and quickly find the right candidate for their position.
Companies can start posting their openings immediately by downloading SLP Spots and making an in-app purchase. Prices start at $29.99 for a 30-day ad placement. For more information about SLP Spots, visit http://www.slpspots.com or send an email to Smarty Ears at email@example.com.
In recent years, alternative communication systems have become more advanced in providing solutions and communication aids for people, especially children, with learning and intellectual disabilities. Smarty Ears was the first company to integrate speech therapy into mobile applications and it is now the leader in speech therapy mobile apps development with over 27 apps for iOS devices and 3 Android apps. The company was founded in 2009 by ASHA-certified Speech Pathologist, Barbara Fernandes. She has spearheaded many initiatives that have changed the lives of many people. “It is our goal to provide the best tools possible to engage every child in learning effectively, developing appropriate communication skills, and becoming better communicators. Our most recent innovation is the launch of Smarty Symbols.”
Professionals in the field had been relying on symbols developed in the early 1980s, and the development of a contemporary symbol set was overdue. Smarty Symbols is a symbol set that provides nearly 12,000 symbols for developers of educational or medical apps and manufacturers of AAC devices to use on their apps in order to promote the learning and development of communication skills for individuals with disabilities. By using symbols, many children have gained the ability to communicate with loved ones and many adults have regained their communication. The Smarty Symbols set is appropriate for all age levels. Through the presence of Smarty Symbols, developers and manufacturers of products for individuals with disabilities can create learning and communication materials that are more appropriate and attractive thus providing a more rewarding experience for children and adults with communication difficulties.
“Developers and AAC companies can license our high-quality product, Smarty Symbols for a significantly lower fee than our competitors. We want to revolutionize our field with Smarty Symbols. The current license options include a one-time payment for lifetime usage of 11,000 symbols, or a one-time set up fee plus a royalty payment schedule based on the sale of products using Smarty Symbols.”
Smarty Symbols has a modern, up-to-date, comprehensive and very transparent library. Vocabulary is organized into semantic and meaningful categories (such as food, animals, fruits, drinks, communication, expressions, and colors) and can be easily retrieved by the user. It features a low frequency vocabulary that cannot be found on competitors’ symbol sets such as adult intimacy, college life, employment, and Internet and social media vocabulary. Smarty Symbols is also currently being translated into Spanish and Portuguese.
Smarty Symbols will play a vital role in the communicative experience of children, teens, and adults with disabilities. Barbara Fernandes explains:
“We want to empower individuals with disabilities with a vocabulary that reflects the communication being used today by everyone which includes words that did not even exist five years ago. Smarty Symbols is a modern symbol set and allows users to express themselves fully like it should.”
Smarty Symbols is currently featured in some of Smarty Ears’ iPad apps available on the app store, Custom Board, That’s How I Feel, and Expressive. It has already been licensed to developers across the world to be utilized into apps, computer software, and traditional alternative communication devices that are currently in development. Soon, professionals and users will start seeing more and more products using Smarty Symbols.
For more information about Smarty Symbols, visit http://www.smartysymbols.com or contact Smarty Ears at contact(at)smartyearsapps(dot)com.
Smarty Ears has been creating apps for speech therapists, teacher and children with special needs for the last 15 months. We have appreciated all the support we have received from everyone. Now we have decided to create an Advisory Committee Board for Smarty Ears. If you are interested in becoming part of our family please continue reading this call for applications:
The advisory committee will act as a group that will help with decisions we make. We want to hear what you guys need, so we can continue to improve our products. We want to hear from everyone: Parents, teachers and Speech Pathologists. If you are selected you will be asked to join our Facebook.com private group, where all discussions will take place.
1. Must own an iPad
2. Must own at least one Smarty Ears app
3. Must be a teacher, SLPs, parent, or person involved in the app community.
4. Must have a Facebook.com account
5. Must have written at least one review for one of Smarty Ears apps on iTunes
What will be expected from you:
1. Vote on decision we will ask such as your favorite icon for our next apps, suggestions for promoting specific apps, suggestion for updates, etc…
2. You will be asked to write reviews for our apps on iTunes,
3. Share a photo and a Bio to be posted on our website as a member of our advisory board,
4. Help us sometimes with testing an app before the app goes on sale on iTunes
5. Anything else you want to help us with.
This does not represent any form of employment association with Smarty Ears. You will be referred to as a member of our Advisory committee board.
What will you gain from it:
1. You will get to learn about our upcoming app releases before anyone does,
2. You will be able to put this on your resume as a member of an advisory committee,
3. You will receive a FREE copy for personal user of all Smarty Ears apps – one per month, or when new releases come.
4. You will be mentioned on our website when your Bio and photo are posted.
We hope you contact us if you are interested. You can use our contact us page to send your message. Please let us know why you are interested, and what you can bring to the table in helping Speech Therapy and educational apps better.
Many times, we are able to provide a free trial code of our apps that will allow presenters, and AT centers to test our apps. If you provide training to parents or speech-language pathologists on apps for children with communication disorders and would like a free trial codes, just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our codes are VERY limited, and unfortunately we are only able to give away codes to presenters. Please include the date , location & the intended audience of your training on your e-mail so we can better assist you. Many times we do not have codes available, but you can always check with us. Please remember that these codes have an expiration date: four weeks after redeemed.
There are two ways to redeem your code.
- On iTunes
- Directly on your iPhone or iPad
If you are redeeming your code on iTunes, follow these steps:
- Open iTunes and find the “App Store” button;
- Find the “redeem” button on the right side of your screen on iTunes;
3. Enter the code provided to you;
4. Wait until app is downloaded
5. Enjoy your app and we hope you can write a review telling us how you like the app.
If you are redeeming your promo code directly on device, follow these steps:
1. Open the ” App store” on you iPhone or iPad,
2. Navigate to the “featured” section;
3. Scroll to the bottom of the list to find the ” redeem” button;
4. Enter the promo code and tap ” redeem”
5. Once you are done; click on ” done” and check to make sure your app is being downloaded.
Smarty Ears is one of the finalists of the Fort Worth Impact Awards 2011. The Impact Awards recognizes companies that are making an impact in one of three areas: Community, Health and Environment.
Forty-eight companies applied for this award, 24 were selected to participate on the 5 minutes pitch day. Barbara Fernandes, the CEO and Founder of Smarty Ears presented about the impact Smarty Ears is making in the lives of children with communication difficulties. There were 9 finalists ( 3 in each category):
Green & Sustainable Services, LLC
Terra 360 Recycling
Geowhiz Universe, LLC
Image Vision Labs’
Smarty Ears, LLC
Vital Art & Science, Inc.
“ It was amazing to be part of Tech Fort Worth Impact Awards next to so many brilliant entrepreneurs. All these companies are doing their best to make our planet a better place. Five minutes was a very short time to talk about all Smarty Ears has done in the last 14 months, but I had fun”. Says Barbara Fernandes
The response Smarty Ears received from participants was extremely positive. While many start-ups are ery successful by creating one of two products in their first year, Smarty Ears has managed to create 21 products for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android users.
“More than 400 community leaders, entrepreneurs, technology advocates, and potential investors from across North Texas are expected to attend the awards luncheon on May 18 at the Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom at Texas Christian University. The event will help raise funds to support business incubation programs for technology-based entrepreneurs.” SEAN MAGGARD
Application: Expressive v1.2 (Loaded 2/26/2011)
Hardware: iPod Touch 2nd Generation. OS v.4.2.1. (No built-in microphone, No built-in camera)
Child: Diagnosed with Autism with very small verbal expression.
REVIEWED BY MARCOS VAZQUEZ :
This is my initial review (on the first week and a half of use) of Smarty Ears Expressive 1.2. Once I learn and work with my son for a month or two, I will revise or rewrite another review. I have been using the application for a little bit I am still in learning mode before fully understood and use it with my son.
My first impression about Expressive is that this application is solid! It is easy to use and after few minutes interacting with it I felt pretty excited!! I realized the potential benefit for my son in the long run. Expressive can be customized to his particular needs and that is what makes this app so incredible.
I tried to use the app for the first time with my son, few minutes after installed it on an iPod Touch we have. He seemed pretty happy with the visual appearance, and I let him start pushing icons. That seemed to be a mistake because he deleted two folders in matter of 2-3 seconds, so I thought it was not a good idea to let him use this without close supervision. After couple days of using the app I found that deleting or editing content can be restricted in the app settings so it was great that they thought about locking it down.
From a functionality stand point I think this app is quite easy to use but I am a very computer savvy person. Single phrases and words can be put together easily but one thing I didn’t like much is the fact that you have to navigate back and forth to different folders in order to create a phrase. I believe the best way to use it will be creating new folders with actions, verbs and word to specific scenarios to practice. For example, in the morning before he goes to school, I created a folder using the built-in icons to create a list of things he normally does before school such as dressing up, choosing his clothes & colors, and foods he likes for breakfast. We have formed small sentences and he has repeated them successfully. I think in the long run he will learn those phrases and will be able to say those independently down the road.
Expressive has the capability to load your own pictures and record sounds, however I could not tested that because I have an iPod Touch with no built-in camera or microphone. I will buy one of those headsets with microphone to try this functionality later on. Another nice thing is that besides the built-in library you can import pictures from your existing library. I imported pictures I already had in the iPod Touch library and it was pretty straight forward, but again no sound to record for the newly created icon.
Finally, I believe this app is very well designed and will be a great tool for my son to develop speech skills and I highly recommended this app to parents with kids with speech problems or speech therapy professionals. Below is the summary of Pros and Cons I could find so far.
- Affordable – not bad at all for the price, however if you don’t have any portable device to load the app you’ll need to buy one.
- Ease to use – I thought everything was pretty straight forward but again I’m a computer savvy person.
- Customizable – I loved this flexibility! I can create any scenario for my son to practice based on his needs and vocabulary.
- Adding more stuff is easy – Adding actions from the built-in library, iPod Touch pictures can be really straight forward. I have only one concern that the app might have a limitation of how many additional icons you can create and it will be great to see that documented in the Expressive website.
- Ability to lock down the app – I thought this feature was missing and a big flaw to permit changes but after finding it I have no fear that my son will delete everything from the app.
- Small Icons and letters – I believe this app was developed for larger devices such as iPads rather than iPhones or iPod Touch devices and it is a little tough to read some of the words. It would be nice to be able to customize that as well making larger the icons.
- Screen rotation unavailable – Because the icons are too small I was hoping that the screen could be rotated to display larger icons. Well, at least I have seen other app vendors have used that screen rotation feature to take care of the small icon issues, enlarging icons and fonts.
- Sound too soft – you really need to be in a quiet environment in order to listen to the voice. I know this might work better for an iPad or Android tablets and that confirms my earlier statement that this app seemed to have in mind that tablet device market.
- Built-in library – It has many icons built-in and when adding those to the scenarios I was creating I needed to scroll down or up until you find what I wanted and it was a little overwhelming to find stuff. I’d suggest that the library should be organized by categories to make browsing and adding icons a better experience.
- Cost low?? – It is only for the app but it might be in the hundreds of dollars if you don’t have a portable device or want to upgrade for a tablet version.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, United States of America (Free-Press-Release.com) March 7, 2011 –
The launch of the new iPad 2 highlighted how, with the right software, tablets are being used in clinical settings such as in the therapy of children with Autism. Smarty Ears LLC, a Dallas, TX-based leader in the development of iPad and iPhone applications for speech therapy, has just introduced 3 new and updated apps designed for individuals affected with Apraxia, Autism and Stuttering. These new apps were a highlight at last week’s Texas Health and Speech Association Conference and will now be showcased at the SXSW Interactive Conference in Austin, TX.
The first new app, Smart Oral Motor v1.0, uses animation to help children practice their oral motor skills, which are impaired in many children with communication disorders such as Apraxia of Speech. Oral motor skills refer to the skills needed for basic functions such as eating and speaking. We know that in order to practice these skills effectively, children need to follow basic directions involving movements of the muscles in their mouths. Smart Oral Motor is a fun and engaging application for children who need a little more entertaining during practice. Clever the Duck provides auditory and visual cues for practicing oral motor exercises. This application includes a total of 15 exercises, auditory information and fun animations
The second new app, Expressive v1.2, is an entry-level easy to use application that allows children and adults with speech impairment to express their wants and needs through the use of pictures. Expressive is part of the segment of Augmentative and Alternative Communication methods (AAC), which refers to methods that supplement or replace speech and writing when these are temporarily or permanently impaired. It does not matter if an individual is having difficulty communicating due to Autism, Apraxia, Stroke or any other communication disorder; Expressive will give that person the ability to communicate basic needs and interests through the use of pictured images and corresponding audio. The best thing about Expressive is its ease of use. It does not require any knowledge about programming or manuals; Expressive allows simple and intuitive customization to the individual’s communication level and needs.
The 3rd app is called Fluency Tracker v2.0. The recent Oscar for Best Picture awarded to the movie “The King’s Speech” increased awareness of the issue of stuttering, which affects about 1% of the world’s population and about 3 Million people in the U.S. Fluency Tracker is an iPhone application designed for individuals who stutter and parents of children who stutter. With Fluency Tracker, individuals are able to track changes in the frequency of disfluency, changes in avoidance behaviors, and feelings associated with speaking. As a compliment to the services of a speech therapist, this application keeps a log of this information over time to allow individuals to track progress towards a more fluent speech and positive feelings regarding communication.
Barbara Fernandes, Smarty Ears’ Founder and CEO, said that Smarty Ears was created on the premise that technology is a powerful mechanism for developing functional and engaging tools to improve communication abilities of children and adults with speech and language difficulties, regardless of their native language. “Our company designs and publishes apps in a variety of areas (fluency, articulation, language, etc.), catering not only to persons with communication disorders, but also their parents, educators and therapists”. According to Dr. Jose A. Briones, Smarty Ears’ Director of Marketing, both Expressive and Smart Oral Motor are now within the Top 50 Medical Apps in Apple’s iTunes store. With a total of 21 apps for the iOS system and 3 apps for the Android system, Smarty Ears will continue to invest in new apps to make therapy and educational sessions highly interactive.
For more information visit Smarty Ears’ website: http://www.smartyearsapps.com
or Expressive’s website: http://www.expressiveapp.com/
iPhone, iPad, iTunes and iPod Touch are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.
Smarty Ears is a trademark of Smarty Ears, LLC
by David Winograd (RSS feed) on Jan 28th 2011 at 6:30PM
Speech therapist Barbrara Fernandez foundedSmarty-Ears apps last January and has since created over 15 apps for the field. I spoke to her about Expressive (US $29.95) an augmentative-alternative communication (AAC) app that at first seems similar to the much more expensive Proloquo2Go, but it serves two purposes.
Like most AAC apps or devices, it allows those without the power of speech due to Autism, Downs Syndrome or even temporary verbal problems to communicate. Tapping on categorized symbols allow one to build phrases that are spoken. The app contains 450 pre-set symbols and more can be added.
The second purpose of the app is to teach language and the relationship between symbols and words. Many children have a limited vocabulary and too many unfamiliar symbols would be confusing and overwhelming. “You can start out and delete everything and slowly build the vocabulary and specifically design the application to meet the needs of a student. I think that’s the main concept here.” Expressive helps with “limited expressive language communication skills” so it’s appropriate of all levels of communication disorders.
Expressive is meant to be used by speech therapists in conjunction with parents to build a child’s vocabulary and communication skills. In its simplest iteration, you would start with a noun. When that has been learned, an instructor can odd modifying words and build up from there. Although it may sound simple, seeing a picture of a ball and understanding that it represents all balls may not be obvious for some. There is an edit mode where symbols can be added or deleted and a user mode that doesn’t allow changes. Without this a child could inadvertently delete everything.
Smarty-Ears also has apps for people with other communication problems. There are apps for those that stutter, and kids with articulation delays who have problems pronouncing specific sounds. A number of them are meant to be used by speech therapists, along with special education and ESL teachers. Barbara hopes to make all of her apps bi-lingual. Expressive will be offered in Spanish and Portugese very soon.
One of Barbara’s favorite apps is Pocket Pond HD, an interactive fish pond which she uses to teach the simple concept of interaction. The app looks great, and touching anything in the pond creates splashes while fish, lily-pads and other objects can be added. Cause and effect is not always a simple concept.
Currently, only about 15 percent of speech therapists are using AAC apps but the number is growing and Smarty-Ears will be in the forefront of the field.
Original Source : http://www.tuaw.com/2011/01/28/macworld-2011-expressive-helps-the-speech-impaired-learn-and-co/
San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) January 25, 2011
With its 1001 ways to improve the life of any human being, the use of the iPad has also been a hot topic in the disability community. It is the combination of superb touch screen devices with the scientific knowledge and experience from a speech therapist that is making the difference for thousands of children and adults with special needs around the world. Barbara Fernandes, a speech pathologist and CEO of Smarty Ears has been developing applications for Apple devices for over one year to help children and adults with a variety of speech and language disorders to improve their communication skills and consequently their quality of life.
Smarty Ears will be showcasing their most recent releases at the Macworld Expo 2011 in San Francisco. Macworld 2011 is “a four day celebration that entertains and educates. Macworld offers access to hundreds of Apple related products and services.” Source: MacworldExpo.com
This year parents of children with a communication disorder such as stuttering, difficulty pronouncing words, or children that cannot communicate due to Autism or Apraxia of speech will have a chance to try out Smarty Ears apps at the Mobile Apps Showcase at the Macworld 2011. Smarty Ears wants to share with the parents and professionals that already use apple devices how this technology can help children with their communication skills.
Smarty Ears will be showcasing their newest app releases. “Articulate it!” is a application designed to help parents practice pronouncing sounds with their children. Many children with articulation disorders have difficulty pronouncing specific sounds. This application gives parents a fun way for in-home pronunciation practice.
Match2Say is a game also designed for children with difficulty pronouncing their sounds in the English language. Match2Say is a game that allows children to have fun while listening to high quality samples of specific sounds while learning at the same time.
Many children with developmental disorders, such as Autism or Down’s syndrome have difficulty speaking using their own voice. Smarty Ears created an application called “Expressive”. With Expressive, children who may have never expressed themselves have a chance to combine pictures that will speak for them.
At US$34.99 Expressive is one of the most affordable apps on the market and it costs a fraction of the devices it rivals, which typically cost anywhere between US$800 and US$4000.
Smarty Ears, a company created in August of 2009 has been the new breakthrough in the area of speech and language therapy. They have released innovative products that combine technology and speech and language sciences, making speech therapy more affordable, fun, and greener. Smarty Ears has already released 15 products on the app Store as of January 2011 and it is expected to release at least 5 new products this spring.
For more information about Smarty Ears visit http://www.smartyearsapps.com You can also contact them at support (at) smarty-ears (dot) com
1. AAC App for the iPad and the iPhone Makes Communicating Affordable for People with Disabilitieshttp://srph.it/hkdpPA
2. New Company Combines Technological Advancements With Speech And Language Sciences.http://bit.ly/bK8vqH
3. Macworld 2011 http://www.macworldexpo2011.com
4. iPhone App for Speech and Language Pathologists http://bit.ly/9389nn
5. Teacher and speech therapist combine skills to help children with language and articulation delayhttp://bit.ly/9PqsCx
Special education apps are increasing its exposure on the internet and on iTunes. Apple once again spotlighted one of Smarty Ears apps. Two of our apps this week are not only amongst top 10 best selling education application on iTunes, but they have also been featured by Apple as “New & Noteworthy”.
Smarty Ears has had a history of very successful products which are recognized by Apple inc. as worthy.
Articulate it!: An application that helps children with speech delays practice their sounds, was also this week #3 best selling education application just one day after its release to the iTunes store.
Smarty Ears would like to thank our users for their support and positive suggestions that have allowed us to create products that help speech therapists, special educators and parents work as a team to help our children with special needs.
If you would like more information about Articulate it! Visit our website; if you would like to download it click the button bellow to see it on the iTunes store.
Match2Say has just been released and it is already a success thanks to all of you who love using Smarty Ears’ apps. Today Match2Say was featured on “New and Noteworthy” on iTunes. This is another great accomplishment for Smarty Ears, speech therapists, teacher and most importantly children with speech delays.
At the same time on 11/07/2010 Match2Say was the top #5 Best selling education app:
If you want to download Match2Say : $34.99
They seemed like a match made in heaven in the eyes of every friend, but their passion for helping children made Jonathan and Barbara Fernandes an even stronger couple. For the last year Barbara, a speech therapist and Jonathan, a Dallas ISD English teacher have been creating apps that can help children with a variety of delays to communicate better.
Barbara and Jonathan have created nearly 20 applications within the last year, all of them towards helping children with a form of a communication difficulty. Barbara has always been “geeky” and started experimenting with graphic designs and programming by the age of 11. Jonathan is a passionate artistic English teacher and the voice featured in almost all of their applications.
“We love spending time together, recording and editing our voices that will be used to help so many children all around the world. Some of our apps feature both of our voices. It is a lot of fun to see the result after many hours of work!”
As an English teacher and artist, Jonathan is responsible for making sure children are learning good English skills. As a speech Therapist, Barbara makes sure all apps are appropriate to target some skills that are affected the most by children with language disorders. They are building the bridge between regular and special education by working as a team.
Speech Therapy most of the time is expensive and the parents rarely have access to the same materials used to practice speech and language skills. While Smarty Ears’ apps do not replace speech therapy, the developers love being able to tell a parent that they can now also help their children at home with these apps in order to maximize the results. It is a well know fact that the more children practice the quicker we are to accomplish results; parental support is the key to success.
“Our apps are simple to use and can also be used not only by special education teachers but also by teacher in regular education that should always be providing support to children with speech delays” says Barbara Fernandes.
Smarty Ears has apps such as: Articulate it! Or /r/ intensive that are designed for children that have difficulty pronouncing some sounds. In order to improve the ability to say certain sounds, children will need lots of practice daily. Parents can use these apps to help their children at home with drills based on the sounds they are having difficulty with. One of our apps called Match2Say is a matching game that organizes the sounds and allows children to play while practicing the sounds they have difficulty with.
Smarty Ears also has apps for children and adults who stutter, and also apps such as iPractice Verbs and WhQuestions for children with language delays. This month we will also be releasing our first Augmentative communication app: Expressive. Expressive is an application designed to help individuals who do not communicate verbally to be able to express their basic wants and needs. Expressive is an alternative communication application that is intended to be functional and easy to use. It is very easy to program and make the words fit the child’s need. We also plan to release it in Portuguese and Spanish still this year.
Apple has given our world an amazing set of devices. Developers can now make these products available to parents at a price that is a fraction of what comparable technology or services would cost.
To contact Barbara or Jonathan you can e-mail them at email@example.com or visit the website www.smartyearsapps.com for tutorials and more information.
We are always very happy when Apple decides to feature Smarty Ears’ apps on “What’s hot section” on iTunes. This is not the first time Sunny Articulation Test has been featured on What’s hot! Actually, both Sunny and Mobile Articulation Probes are often features by Apple. This is a sign that not only consumers love our apps, but also Apple as well.
Aug 03, 2010 – Smarty Ears releases the first articulation test available on a mobile device (iPhone, iPod Touch & iPad). The Sunny Articulation Test is an individually administered qualitative clinical tool for screening, identification, diagnosis and follow-up evaluation of articulation skills in English speaking individuals. It was developed by Barbara Fernandes, a Trilingual Speech and Language Pathologist and Smarty Ears.
The Sunny Articulation Test can be used with individuals of all age groups. The Sunny Articulation Test is compatible with the iPhone, iPod Touch & the iPad.
This app features:
a. The ability to enter student’s name and track progress over time;
b. Tests all phonemes of the English language including clusters;
c. Offers two options: Screening & Full Assessment
d. The ability to record student’s production with the same tool you are using to administer test;
e. Complements information of standardized measures;
f. E-mails test results immediately after administration;
g. Provides immediate positive feedback to students throughout the test administration;
h. Sample recording of target word is available as you touch each image;
i. Ability to add notes on the app during the assessment.
Sunny was released in the app store on July 3rd and is already a successful product. Two days after its debut, Sunny was among the top 10 best-selling educational apps in the iTunes store. This is a great accomplishment not only for Smarty Ears but also for Speech therapists and the children who will have a lot more fun when going to their speech therapist.
Sunny Articulation Test is especially useful in determining patterns in the speech production of students, something that saves significant time for Speech Therapists who in the past had to analyze the words from a speech test protocol.
Now Smarty Ears not only provides speech therapists with a tool for assessment but also a tool for therapy. Smarty Ears has an app for therapy: Mobile Articulation Probes, and one for assessment: the Sunny Articulation Test.
Sep 05, 2010 – The iPod has already been known for its gaming capabilities, and innumerous apps to everything you can imagine. However, it was not until a speech therapy company released its first application that the iPod started becoming utilized in treating children with speech problems. Speech disorders are one of the most frustrating difficulties children may present early in life as it impedes their ability to communicate with others, sometimes even with their parents.
Smarty Ears –a company that has already developed 13 applications for speech therapy– released in January of 2010 the first app for treating children with articulation problems called Mobile Articulation Probes (MAP). According to the developers, sales of this application have been enormous given the high percentage of speech sound disorders in children. The basic concept of the application is the use of a pool of over 2 thousand images divided by phonemes (sounds). This application was designed to be used by speech therapists as well as parents of children with speech sound errors who wish to practice with their children at home.
Parents are always encouraged to practice with their children at home to supplement the services of the speech therapist. Mobile Articulation Probes provides a very easy way for parents to practice with their children at a very affordable price ($29.99). The results can be e-mailed to their child’s speech therapist to follow up with the treatment. On the other hand, if this application is being used by speech therapists the words that the child is not producing appropriately can be e-mailed to the parents for daily practice at home.
If using the iPod/iPhone/iPad for treating speech errors was not already an astonishing enough progress, a new app was released to screen for speech errors and it is called the Sunny Articulation Test. The Sunny Articulation Test is a revolution in the way speech tests are presented to children. In the past, children’s articulation skills were assessed by the use of a pictured book. The Sunny Articulation Test makes the screening of these skills a lot more fun and interesting to the children while making it a lot more practical for the speech therapist. The Sunny Articulation Test automatically calculates percentages of accuracy and provides instantly at the end of the test. The speech therapy of the parent can print the results minutes after its administration.
These applications are starting a revolution in the filed of speech therapy. Smarty Ears has other applications available such as /r/ intensive SLP for treating children with difficulties pronouncing the /r/ sound, and Spanish Articulation Probes for Spanish speakers.
The Sunny Articulation Test and Mobile Articulation Probes can be found on the app store by the key word Smarty Ears. All Smarty Ears apps are compatible with the iPhone, iPod and the iPad. For more information and video tutorials on how to use the apps visit http://www.smarty-ears.com
May 13, 2010 – On May 11, Smarty Ears released an innovative new app that focuses on therapy for one of the most common articulation difficulties among young children: the production of the /r/ phoneme. Smarty Ears’ new app, called “R intensive SLP”, is a fun, well structured, yet easy to administer way of practicing the most feared English sound.
The /r/ phoneme is one of the most complex phonemes in the English language and therefore one of the most frustrating sounds, for not only for speech therapists but also for children and parents. Often, students are enrolled for many years to learn to produce this one sound in the English language. Individuals who come from other countries often also have difficulties learning to pronounce this very “tricky” sound.
Developed by Barbara Fernandes, a trilingual practicing speech and language therapist, “/r/ intensive SLP” uses a phonetic approach to teaching the R phoneme. It provides over 450 target “r” words and phrases divided by its phonetic “environment”. First, the speech therapist can use this app to perform a PROBE and attempt to identify the specific phonetic environment the student has difficulties with. For example, sometimes students only have difficulties pronouncing /r/ when it comes in clusters, or prevocalic-R.
The Probe option will give SLPs a pool containing 20 words from all phonetic environments for later analysis.
After the probe has been administered and analyzed, the SLP will be able to direct the therapy towards the student’s specific difficulties rather than a list of general “r” words. This is one of the most useful apps available on the market not only for speech therapists but also for the parents to practice with their children at home.
“/r/ intensive SLP” allows speech pathologists to select the following phonetic variations of /r/ :
1. Pre-Vocalic /r/
2. /r/ Clusters
Speech therapists are now able to have an easy access to a pool of “r” words organized by allophones in a compact, and portable device: their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch! Since most evaluation tools do not address the variations of /r/, this can also be used as a complementary tool for the collection of data during the assessment. “/r/Intensive SLP” provides /r/ targets at the phrase level as well as at the individual word level.
/r/ Intensive SLP is the only tool on the market that allows Speech therapists and parents to not only practice the production of the /r/ phoneme, but it also provides a list of accurate/missed words for homework practice, and it tallies the percentage of accuracy at the same time with the same tool: your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
For more information visit Smarty Ears’ website at http://www.smarty-ears.com
In order to download this app or view it on the app store visit: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/r-intensive-slp/id3712003 …
Apr 26, 2010 – In today’s global economy, the need for learning foreign languages is of critical importance. It is also well known that children have the ability to learn languages much more easily and faster than adults. What has only recently been demonstrated is that the ability to actively learn languages is present much earlier than previously assumed.
Researchers have recently documented that even newborns cry in their native language. Comparisons between babies a few days old in France and Germany revealed that newborns cry in the same melody patterns that are typical of their respective mother tongues. The data showed an influence of the surrounding language phonemes, pitch and rhythms on the babies’ cry (1). According to Dr. Kathleen Wermke, “The melody patterns practiced in crying are building blocks for subsequent sound productions, from cooing and babbling through to the first words and sentences”(2).
Additional research has shown that hearing two languages during pregnancy puts infants on the road to bilingualism by birth. A recent study showed that infants born to bilingual mothers (who spoke both languages regularly during pregnancy) exhibit different language preferences than infants born to mothers speaking only one language (3). The work revealed that language discrimination is robust at birth and that language preference at birth reflects previous listening experience (4).
These findings point the way to new approaches to teach foreign languages to newborn babies. By utilizing a system based on scientific principles of language acquisition, parents can provide their children with the opportunity to start learning the basic sounds of a foreign language in a more effective manner than just listening to simple words and sentences.
Smarty Ears LLC, a company from Dallas, TX, has released a new patent-pending teaching method to expose babies to the sounds of a foreign language. The application is called “My Bilingual Baby”, and is available for Apple Inc.’s iPhone, and iPod Touch®. “My Bilingual Baby” may be utilized with children of any age starting as soon as a few weeks from birth.
The goal is to expose children to all sounds of the target language as soon as possible to prevent the potential loss of their natural ability to learn a foreign language. Based on the premise that the sooner children are introduced to the sounds of a foreign language, the easier it will be for them to become proficient later in life, Smarty Ears has developed this method to boost the child’s inherent language acquisition abilities.
“My Bilingual Baby” goes beyond simple lists of words and phrases. Unlike other teaching methods for babies and children, in this system the baby is exposed to phonemically balanced words, carefully selected by trained speech and language professionals. In this product all phonemes of the language are presented in the three positions of the word: Initial, medial and final.
One significant advantage is that the phonemically balanced words are also presented to the child at the phrase level. The child will become familiar with the intonation of the language and of its various grammatical features. He/She will learn that each language has a different intonation and speech pattern. An additional product feature called “Polar Opposite Sounds” will teach children that a change in a single feature of a particular sound can change the entire meaning of the word.
One of the options in “My Bilingual Baby” is to automatically play all of the sounds with the feature “Play All”. With this feature parents can place the iPhone or iPad next to the baby while they relax or attend to other chores. It is also a useful bedtime strategy, since parents can rest assured that their children will be cognitively stimulated listening to the sounds of the language until they fall sleep.
“My Bilingual Baby” has already sold hundreds of copies all around the world. The Spanish language has been chosen for the first version of the product, and is available for English- and Portuguese-speaking parents. However, Smarty Ears plans to release this application in a variety of other languages. While the graphics are optimized for use with the iPhone and iPod Touch, the application can also be used with the iPad.
With this product, bilingual or monolingual parents can introduce their children to the sounds of the Spanish language. The application for English-Speaking parents can be found at this linkhttp://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id353788600?mt=8 and the application for Portuguese-Speaking parents is available at this link http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id360586208?mt=8.
Smarty Ears, LLC has developed over 12 iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch applications for Speech Therapy and Language Development. For more information about the company, please visit the websitehttp://www.smarty-ears.com/
1) Newborns’ Cry Melody Is Shaped by Their Native Language, Current Biology, Volume 19, Issue 23, 05 November 2009
2) Language begins with the very first cry. University of Würzburg 05/Nov/2009
3) Bilingual babies: The roots of bilingualism in newborns PhysOrg.com February 16, 2010
4) The roots of bilingualism in Newborns, Psychological Science, 21 (3) 2010
iPhone and iPod Touch are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.
iPad is a trademark of Apple Inc.
Smarty Ears is a trademark of Smarty Ears, LLC
Mar 19, 2010 – A company created in August of 2009 has been the new breakthrough in the area of speech and language therapy. This company that has been releasing innovative products that combine technology and speech and language sciences, making speech therapy more affordable, fun, and greener. The company has been named “Smarty Ears” and it comes as a fresh, innovative, mesmerizing solution for a variety of issues in the profession. Smarty Ears has been creating innovative iPhone, iPod and iPad applications for speech and language therapists, as well as for individuals with a communication disorder such as stuttering and their parents.
Smarty Ears has already released 10 products on the app Store as of March, 2010 and it is expected to release at least 3 new products per month. Amongst its most popular products is “Mobile Articulation Probes” – an exciting original app that allows for practicing and probing of articulation errors, “WHQuestions” – a great app that provides over 120 Wh questions for practice, “ iPractice Verbs” – an innovative app with visual and auditory information on over 130 verbs at the word and phrase level, “Fluency Tracker” – a handy app that allows for tracking of changes in behaviors associated with stuttering. Smarty Ears will be releasing apps in the area of dysphagia and aphasia within the next month, as they are very enthusiastic to help improve every aspect of speech therapy.
In the past, parents had limited access to Speech and Language materials, which are not only expensive but also usually only advertised for Speech Pathologists. Smarty Ears gives parents the ability to provide their children additional practice in those areas affected by a speech or language disorder. Smarty Ears’ apps are both affordable and easy to use by both parents and children with a communication disorder.
Up until recently Speech Therapists have been limited to ordering paper & pencil activities or creating their own materials to be used with children with communication disorders. These materials are often expensive. Smarty Ears adds one additional possibility to the market, which is the ability to instantly download materials on the iPhone or iPod as well as the ability to order materials way below the price they would pay for flashcards or other paper and pencil materials.
Smarty Ears gives speech therapists a “green” friendly alternative to other speech products such as flash cards because by using their iPhone apps Smarty Ears improves their product whenever there is an application update that users who have already purchased the product can download for free. Printed materials and traditional publishers by contrast are neither generous enough to issue updates to customers that improve their product for free nor consciousness of the waste produced when an older product becomes obsolete. No more having to create eventual waste and fill landfills with products that eventually wear down, get damaged, or become obsolete. Smarty Ears appreciates and listens to both their customers’ needs, and recent research in the speech community to keep their products relevant in an ever changing world.
Not only is Smarty Ears a more environmentally conscious method of conducting therapy it’s also in most cases a more convenient one. Speech therapists often have to move therapy materials from one room to another and often may have wished that everything was more compact. With Smarty Ears, products are all conveniently at your fingertips on the one item that goes everywhere with a person—their iPhone—no more having to search the room or strain one’s arms to gather therapy tools or hope that there isn’t a piece broken or missing.
Children with communication disorders sometimes have reduced attention spans, which makes it difficult for improving their language or articulation skills. Smarty Ears adds the component of technology that children from this generation in particular love, increasing their attention span and making therapy, practice, and progress a much more intrinsic experience.
Smarty Ears is the result of the efforts and creativity of Barbara Fernandes, a licensed and practicing speech and language pathologist. She is a trilingual speech and language pathologist that currently works for a public school district and has worked with children from a variety of multicultural and linguistic backgrounds with a myriad of different needs. Barbara plans to create apps in a variety of languages, which makes Smarty Ears ever more important as the world becomes more and more multilingual and multicultural.
The amount of materials for Speech therapists in languages other than English is very limited. Smarty Ears will be a game changer as publication of its products become available in more and more languages. Smarty Ears already has released two apps in Spanish- “ Mobile Articulation Probes” and “ My bilingual baby”. Bilingual speech therapists are celebrating this new very welcome addition to their “library”.
Smarty Ears mascot “Clever” has added a key feature to Smarty Ears products. The response we are getting from the addition of a mascot to our company has been great! He was first utilized as part of the app iPractice Verbs. “The kids love how funny and silly he sounds!” Says Barbara Fernandes, owner and director of the company.
Smarty Ears has already sold hundreds of applications worldwide and it is now one of the finalists for receiving the IMPACT award for making a significant impact in the area of health sciences.
For more information you can visit their website at http://www.smarty-ears.com
To find all Smarty Ears apps just search on your app store for the key word “Smarty Ears”.
Jan 20, 2010 – “WHQuestions”© is the exciting new Iphone and Ipod touch application for speech therapists and children with language disorders. “WhQuestions”© targets a skill that often is impacted by the presence of a language disorder: answering questions.
Now speech therapists can count on an application that will provide more than 200 questions ready to be used in therapy. The questions are grouped in 5 categories: what, where, who, how, and why.
Often times, parents may feel discouraged with practicing with their child who has the need simply because they don’t feel they have the tools accessible to give their child the much needed help. “WHQuestions” is designed to empower the parents of children with difficulty answering questions with the ability to practice this language skill with their child at home at any time.
In addition, “WHQuestions” comes equipped with the ability to track the percentage of accuracy so that the speech therapist can focus more on the therapy itself instead of the tracking data.
“WHQuestions” is being sold for a promotional price for the first month of only $14.99 USD. When you consider how the average price of just one deck of cards that has only one type of question sold at popular speech therapy conventions costs about $14.99 and a deck containing all questions costs on average $64.99, “WHQuestions” offers a potential savings of $50 without the hassle of cards that can get lost and damaged over time. As you can see this product is offering a real value for its dollar.
“WHQuestions” © was designed by Smarty Ears – an innovative company that is devoted to producing technology that can be used both in therapy and by parents of children with language disorders.
If “WHQuestions” becomes as big of a hit as Smarty Ears’ first application “Mobile Articulation Probes” the company will have to start creating new applications every month. This is Smarty Ears’ second release in one month!
It seems that Speech Therapists are finally joining the group of professionals that embrace that technology is just part of the reality of this new century. Are you ready for it?