Developing Apps to Help Children with Special Needs


Finding a voice: Paúl Pauca, computer science professor

Six-year-old Victor was born with a rare genetic disorder called Pitt-Hopkins syndrome that makes it difficult for him to communicate. His dad, Paúl Pauca and a team of students developed an iPhone and iPad application, called VerbalVictor. Verbal Victor provides an affordable alternative to expensive communication devices on the market, devices that cost thousands of dollars. “Our app is similar to the more expensive device in that you can take a picture of an item and create different button layouts depending on the motor control of the child. You can even record your own voice on it,” Pauca said. Since debuting in January, VerbalVictor has been downloaded nearly 2,000 times, and Pauca has gotten positive feedback from grateful parents across the globe. “I have received emails from Korea, India, Switzerland and other countries,” he said. “Hearing from so many people has created a huge desire to make this kind of application a big aspect of my research. It has become a calling. Because of my son, I have found my mission to help give a voice to those without one.” Pauca is working on four other apps for special-needs children, including one for paraplegics.

Originally posted by the Office of Communications and External Relations at:

One comment on “Developing Apps to Help Children with Special Needs

  1. Tech says:

    VerbalVictor is really helpful, thanks to the guys who created it.

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