Voice-activated Quality of Life (VoQoL) technology, developed by Coral Tech, makes it possible for quadriplegic and paraplegic people to perform basic functions themselves so that they may attain a level of freedom in their daily lives. Functions include switching on lights or devices such as fans, or changing TV channels by means of voice commands or prompts.
Through VoQoL, users can also call for assistance by sending an SMS to their caregiver’s cellphone. Users can stream various South African radio stations too, including Umhlobo Wenene FM, uKhozi FM, Fine Music Radio, Metro FM, Smile 90.4 FM, and Radio Sonder Grense.
This technology not only gives users more independence and a sense of self-sufficiency, but also allows caregivers to allocate more time to tasks that are vital to their daily caregiving routines. According to Cliff Court, founder of Coral Tech, there is a visible boost in the self-esteem of VoQoL users. One patient went as far as calling the technology life-altering.
Generous donations from the Telkom Foundation, Rotary Claremont and the SAB Foundation have made it possible for VoQoL devices to be installed in more than 65 rooms in five homes for people with disabilities in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Gauteng to offer more than 80 residents renewed self-sufficiency.
For those who also have speech impediments, Coral Tech has developed an electronic voice recorder that allows someone with a clear voice to pre-record commands. Paraplegic individuals with speech impediments can then use VoQoL by triggering the recorded voice commands they want via remote control.
There are many more residents at care homes around the country who can benefit from using VoQoL. Corporates, through their social responsibility initiatives, and members of the public who would like to contribute towards the cause can make donations to care homes of their choice. For more information on the system and how to donate towards a VoQoL installation, contact Cliff Court at 082 450 8194.