Two words that some people with ALS may not be able to say.
"Patients with ALS, very early in the course of their disease or in the middle of their disease, will lose their ability to speak,” said Eufrosina Young, the Upstate University ALS Clinic director. “At some point, they will lose their ability to write and express themselves."
But a new program is giving them a voice.
"It's like a light at the end of the tunnel turned on,” said Young. “It's the same for the family as the patients. They realized that they don't have to be in the dark as to what their loved on is thinking."
Upstate University Hospital's ALS Clinic launched its first Voice of PALs Library.
It consists of 13 iPads, preloaded with an app called Predictable that translates words into spoken language.
The director says the patients' thumbs become impaired early in the disease and communicating becomes difficult.
"Whereas if they were to use an iPad with big letters and they have the ability to tap with their fingers, these phrases are able to be generated quite efficiently,” said Young.
The app also has common built-in expressions and a multi-lingual option as well, making it easier for all ALS patients to communicate.
"An ALS patient loses many abilities,” said Young. “They also have many abilities that they retain over time. And that ability is that spirit, that will to continue and communicate to the world."