RFID "Talker"


Non-verbal or minimally verbal children often communicate using a card-exchange system called PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System).  In short, they exchange a card with a photo or symbol on it (in lieu of or in addition to a verbal exchange) to receive a desired item or action.  While this system has many merits, without vocalization, the individual is only capable of exchanges when he/she has the full attention of the communication partner (usually a parent or teacher).  To address this problem, I developed an Arduino-based communication device that vocalizes the PECS word using radio frequency identification (RFID) tags affixed to the back of each card.  The design is low-cost, easy to use, and endlessly customizable.  More importantly, this "talker" enables the user to gain the attention of the communication recipient in a similar manner to a verbal child, spurring immediate gains in independence and self-confidence.