Twitter may give ‘voice’ to speech impaired

Melbourne :Social networking website Twitter may help people with speech disabilities share information and feel more included by giving them a ‘voice’, researchers say.

New research by University of Newcastle suggests that Twitter is an important tool for adults with speech disabilities from stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, autism and motor neurone disease.

According to lead researcher Associate Professor Bronwyn Hemsley, many of them who use assistive technologies already knew how to make their communication short and succinct and therefore, tend to flourish on Twitter, ‘’ reported.

“Often, people with little or no functional speech find that listeners try to finish their sentences for them or speak on their behalf,” she said.

“They’re used to crafting short messages carefully. In many ways, Twitter might level the playing field, liberating users from stereotypes and enabling self-advocacy,” said Hemsley.

The study’s second phase will focus on the benefits of online Twitter training, how networks develop and how people with communication disabilities experience Twitter over a six month period.