January 13, 2016 | By: Kelly Mastin
With different disabilities, there are different challenges. Some disabilities affect a person’s ability to speak and communicate with others. A common challenge with autism is communication and speech. Other disabilities make it hard for the person to verbalize and be understood for different reasons.
Recently, Jeroen DeBusser, a man who lives with autism, developed an app to help people with disabilities communicate in times of need. Jeroen has panic attacks. During a bad panic attack, Jeroen is unable to speak. Even when friends are available and are willing to help, they often don’t know how, and sometimes do the exact opposite of what Jeroen needs at the time.
The new app, Emergency Chat, has a basic chat format that opens with a predetermined message explaining the predicament and how best to help. The app comes pre-programmed for a person with autism having a panic attack. But users can type in whatever information would help in their individual situation. The app has the ability to then continue into a typed chat conversation between the user and a friend or other person helping. Jeroen noticed that while he is unable to speak and listen during a panic attack, he usually has the ability to have a silent typed conversation.
Others who have used the app have used it for a variety of purposes. Some have used it for asthma attacks and have included instructions for getting immediate help. Some have used it for seizures and included exactly what to do to help the user and ensure their safety. Others have modified the app to be used for a trach emergency with instructions for seeking medical help or even just being patient while the user fixes the issue.
Other ideas include needing help for a diabetes emergency, an emotional meltdown, or even directions for getting back home for a user who gets lost often or who uses public transportation.
There are so many possible uses for this new app. The Emergency Chat app has already proven useful for many users. Search for the iOS version in iTunes or the Android version in the Google Play Store and download onto a smart phone or tablet.
Be sure to check out our Find Services for more ideas, too.