iTherapy, LLC receives an Epic MegaGrant to build advanced communication app for non-verbal learners

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Innovative Bay Area developers create solutions to distance-learning challenges for children with autism

I believe communication can be mastered if people are provided with the right tools. Lois Brady, CEO iTherapy

iTherapy, LLC, a company that develops immersive educational technology for individuals with communication challenges such as autism, today announced that they have received a MegaGrant from gaming juggernaut Epic Games, creators of Grand Theft Auto and Fortnite. Using the grant, iTherapy will create new software with advanced speech and facial-expression technology, to empower children on the autism spectrum to improve their communication skills and engage with distance learning.

Lois Jean Brady and Matthew Guggemos, the speech-language pathologists at the helm of iTherapy, initially applied for the grant to bring their cutting-edge AI-powered InnerVoice iOS communication app to Android and other platforms. The co-founders have since pivoted to plan a new “edutainment” app, after lockdowns revealed an urgent need for technology allowing children with autism to interact through distance-learning software. Brady explained, “In our first virtual sessions back in March, we found that non-verbal kids on the spectrum didn’t have anything they could interact with, and they were checking out. We realized there needs to be a shared experience between teacher and student, in real time. We thought, let’s take the Epic Games MegaGrant project and create something fun and interactive, where two users can communicate collaboratively."

As well as using groundbreaking technology from iTherapy's award-winning InnerVoice app (created with Microsoft’s AI for Accessibility grant), the company's new app will promote problem-based learning using an entertaining games format, encouraging students around the world to engage with the software on their own. The team at iTherapy believe everyone can master communication, given the right tools, and they are excited about this opportunity to provide non-verbal individuals with a new way to interact and learn to communicate for themselves.

About iTherapy, LLC: iTherapy, LLC is a San Francisco Bay Area company that develops engaging immersive technology which increases quality of life for individuals with communication challenges such as autism. Since 2011, iTherapy has provided thousands of individuals with evidence-based solutions to everyday communication challenges, both through its innovative software and its medical speech therapy clinic, where its speech-language pathologists provide services to a variety of clients. iTherapy’s InnerVoice app has won multiple awards, including the Mensa ERFIB to Society Award in 2013.

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Lois Jean Brady
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