Bridges App: Join our Adventure

Imagine that you are trapped in your mind, wandering in a never-ending loop of frustration, turmoil, and loneliness. No hope of escape, no bridge to the world that surrounds you. 

Millions of lucid, responsible people live their lives unable to express basic feelings. A stroke victim, a child with autism, a service member with a traumatic brain injury. Simple but essential feelings like: "I love you," "I’m sad because nobody understands me," "I'm scared because I’m meeting someone new." 

On some level, we all crave connection. We want connection with our children, our family, and our friends. We don’t merely want to share our basic needs; we want to share our ideas, experiences, and circumstances. We want the security of knowing we can be understood.

What is Bridges?
Bridges App is an application for smartphones and tablets that provides speech-challenged users a simple way to retrieve, formulate, and convey complex, grammatically correct thoughts and emotions. 



Who does it help?
Bridges App is designed for users from adolescence to adulthood who experience neurologically-based impediments to speech and language formulation—and their friends and family. 

·      Hearing impaired
·      Limited English Proficiency
·      Traumatic Brain Injured
·      Veterans (PTSD)
·      Speech Apraxia (stroke victims; congenital conditions)
·      Intellectually challenged
·      Non-verbal due to conditions such as ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)
·      Vocal cord injuries

An early focus group and advisors who have seen the application prototype also recommend Bridges App for Speech and Language Pathologists, Therapists, Audiologists, Psychologists, and Habilitation Specialists, as well as educators for special-ed, the hearing impaired, and inclusion educators. Because of its structured approach to phrase generation, it could function as a classroom learning tool English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Educators.

We need your help. 
We have planned, workshopped, and discussed Bridges App for more than a year and we need your help for the next step: active professional development. Your generous donation will help us pay programming costs and technology licensing fees. 

We start coding this month, with a target completion date in mid-October 2017. At the end of development we will have a functional mobile application ready for real-world testing, review, and feedback from experts and users. 

Donate today, and join us in making this dream a reality for the millions striving to be heard, to be treated with the respect they deserve, to rejoin the world around them. 

Who are we?

Brenda, her daughter Genevieve, and Albert are cousins who grew up within a close family, originally from Tampa, Florida.

Trained and experienced educators, Brenda and Albert share a deep commitment to helping others through the power of education, especially those most in need.

Bridges App arose out of a conversation during a family beach vacation. As Brenda shared her frustration with the current state of assistive communications technologies on the market and its inability to help Genevieve communicate her emotions, they decided to break through those technological limitations and create something that could help speech-challenged populations to formulate complex, age-appropriate speech.

Today we are Assistive Communications Technologies, a group of parents of children with special needs, career educators, and practitioners in the AAC field. We want to leverage modern technology and clinical research to build bridges within families and between people. We envision a world where all are accepted for their unique gifts, where all people can share their hopes and dreams with confidence and pride. (Learn more on our "Bridges App" Facebook Group and our website at AssistiveCT.com.)

We also have a very special consultative board that believes in this project enough to provide guidance and clinical best-practice insights. Board members include:

Jean Blosser, CCC-SLP, Ed.D., ASHA Fellow. President, Creative Strategies for Special Education, and author of many books and articles about speech-language pathology curriculum development and delivery.

Lorraine Watson, Ph.D., clinical psychologist with over thirty years of experience in leadership and behavioral health. Co-founder of Essential Learning (now Relias Learning).

Dr. Richard Kelley, of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Center for Mitochondrial and Epigenomic Medicine. Professor of Pediatrics at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Department of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University (1987-2014).
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Organizer

Brenda Pharr Jensen 
Organizer
Tampa, FL