Okla. students develop speech device for man with ALS

OKLAHOMA CITY (WHDH) — A group of college students created a special device to help a man diagnosed with ALS communicate.

Carl Phelps, a former college basketball player and superintendent, was diagnosed with ALS in 2015. He and his wife Janice noticed something was wrong the year before when he started slurring his speech. He is now able to speak again, with the help of a “Visuals” device that speaks for him.

Phelps said the device costs $20,000 but a group of engineering and business students built one for $3,000. Phelps is now their beta tester and is helping the students improve their invention.

“It is a huge blessing to have a way to communicate,” said Phelps. “I spoke to thousands and speaking was a major part of my life. It has given me a voice again.”

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