If hearing about Wemogee, Samsung’s new emoji-based aphasia communication app, made you excited, you’ll be happy to learn about Tapgram, an image-based tool that works on every device and computer. It’s web-based, which means that as long as you have Internet access, you can send picture messages.
A Stroke Affects Communication
Tapgram, made by Chad Ruble, a board member of the National Aphasia Association, created the program for his mother. He states, “After my mom had a severe stroke, keyboards and computers became almost impossible for her to use. Aside from the loss of motor function, the stroke also left her with aphasia.”
He wanted to be able to communicate with his mother with the same quick ease in which people share information via text messages or on sites such as Facebook. This wouldn’t replace phone calls but would be an additional way for his mother to share daily life with friends and family.
No Keyboard Necessary
He invented Tapgram, a picture-based system which allows users to tap on images to state their message. No keyboard to navigate, no small buttons to try to press. His mother tried out the earliest versions of the program:
As my mom played around with these prototypes, it was great to feel more in touch about the basics of each other’s day. My kids – just getting comfortable with keyboards themselves – enjoyed exchanging tapgrams with Grandma and each other. My sister in the UK can send and receive messages with Mom. Then mom’s friends wanted in on the fun. So, I created Tapgram as a tablet-friendly web application.
That web application is available to everyone.
Tapgram allows people to compose simple messages that concern feelings, places, or people. Users can also set amounts, such as stating they are feeling happy, very happy, or extremely happy. Or talk about the past (I went to the movies) or the future (I’m going to the movies).
Like all social media sites, friends see messages and can respond with a comment. Two taps is all it takes to let your friends and family know how you’re doing.
Tapgram is a great way to also interact and communicate with other people with aphasia. Exchange email addresses with people in your support group and connect online to build your own aphasia support system.
So if learning the Samsung app is only for people with an Android device made you disappointed, take a look at Tapgram, the image-based aphasia communication tool that is open to everyone with an Internet connection.
Are you on Tapgram? Let us know what you think.