Texas Assistive Technology Regional Conference, Houston, TX June 25-27, 2007

Dear Angela,

Yes, I have dutifully registered for TATRC and forked over the required $75 for a booth. However, I decided to forward something I recently had to write for another new contact. While that contact was an apparent spammer, my response still serves as a good, no-bull 60-second thumbnail of who I am and what I’m about. As it actually mentions, I am mindful of your hellish workload as a SLP. Still, I hope you will read on. What you’ll read is interesting, and hopefully worthwhile to you.

Scott

From: Scott Royall [mailto:royall@conchbbs.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2007 3:37 PM
To: ‘chris.glavin@k12academics.com’
Cc: Tao Ju
Subject: FW: Cerebral Palsy (fwd)

Chris,

I am curious as to what prompted you to contact Tao, my associate. He and his wife have been assisting me in attempting to market an AAC solution I created named Xpress-It. Unfortunately, my efforts have not met with any financial success yet.

I should introduce myself. My name is Scott Royall, and I have CP. I also have a Computer Science degree, and worked for Shell Oil for 14 years. Since I couldn’t talk, and none of the currently-available AAC packages met my management’s expectations for intelligible speech, I was compelled to write my own high-fidelity solution. If some hubris will be forgiven, it is literally true that, at a recent impromptu meeting with Dynavox reps and users, the reps were left to explain why their expensive device couldn’t match the audio quality of my all-software Xpress-It.

I was furloughed almost five years ago when Shell decided to start transferring their IT work to Malaysia. Since I can’t get anyone to even grant a job interview to me, I have focused my efforts on trying to make a living on my one remaining marketable asset, Xpress-It. The nature of the AAC market has somewhat surprised me with its resilience to new approaches. There are no real villains involved; the resistance is mostly a product of the vetting process used. New products have to be reviewed and recommended, usually by recognized speech/language pathologists. SLPs have notoriously heavy workloads filled with many tasks, and few have the awareness of what computers are actually capable of. I guess it’s understandable that people stick with recommending what they are comfortable with, even if it is 15 years obsolete. The AAC community as a whole seems to not realize the voice quality required for someone to hold a job.

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how I can best assist you in your endeavor. Xpress-It is available on my website, my blog is at http://adayinthelifeofaperson.spaces.live.com/. You might possibly convince me to write a few articles, but be aware that I tend to “call things as I see them.” I am not always sympathetic to my fellow disabled person, as I often find them surrounded by an air of defeatism. Life is pretty brutal and uncompromising, but it is also intrinsically filled with possibilities. As long as someone has options, he should be flogging them hard to improve his life.

Scott

—–Original Message—–
From: Tao Ju [mailto:taoju@cs.wustl.edu]
Sent: Thursday, February 01, 2007 11:00 AM
To: Scott Royall
Subject: Cerebral Palsy (fwd)

Scott,

See the forwarded message below.

Maybe this is helpful 🙂

Tao

———- Forwarded message ———-

Date: Thu, 01 Feb 2007 11:51:48 -0500

From: Chris Glavin <chris.glavin@k12academics.com>

To: taoju@cs.wustl.edu

Subject: Cerebral Palsy

Hi,

My name is Chris Glavin. I run a website devoted to providing resourceful

information for a number of topics in education and disabilities and

disorders. I have created an information page on Cerebral Palsy including

History, Cause, Incidence and Prevalence, Types, Signs & Symptoms, Imaging

Findings, Prognosis, Treatment, Spastic, Support Services, Special Education

Schools, Camps, Books, Videos, Magazines & a Community Discussion Group with

members from all over the U.S. Please take a moment out of your day to visit

the page. If you would like to help in any way please do not hesitate to

contact me. I am always looking for individuals interested in providing

articles, resources or have any services for individuals with Cerebral

Palsy.

http://www.k12academics.com/cerebralpalsy.htm

Thanks!

Chris Glavin

K12academics.com

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