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Bruce Baker obituary: Minspeak creator dies at 77 –

Bruce Baker was the creator of Minspeak, a communication system that allows people with disabilities such as cerebral palsy or ALS to communicate verbally.

Developing a better system

Baker’s creation, Minspeak, allows nonverbal people to input their words into an AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) device that then speaks for them, similar to the device famously used by physicist Stephen Hawking (1942 – 2018). The key to Minspeak’s success is that it uses hieroglyphics for input rather than an alphabet. Instead of laboriously typing in each word they want to say, users can point to icons that can be combined to form sophisticated thoughts. A single icon can be used in a wide variety of ways, representing different words and thoughts depending on what other icons it’s combined with. Baker’s innovation opened new doors for nonverbal people, allowing them to communicate quickly and eloquently. A linguist by training, Baker drew on his study of hieroglyphic languages to create Minspeak.

What people said about him

Read more: Minspeak history



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