Speech therapy digital tools in Romania

  • Awareness
  • 14/12/2018
  • Romanian Safer Internet Centre

Logopedia, the first digital education platform for both hearing and speech impaired children and professionals working with them, moves its content to Timlogo.ro, the largest logopedics platform in Romania that supports the speech therapy of people with speech disorders.

In Romania, estimates show that over 400,000 children have language difficulties, about 10 per cent of all children in Romania. Through the partnership between Save the Children Romania and Ascendia, they will continue to have free access to a range of resources and games developed by Save the Children in collaboration with the Orange Foundation and teachers from the special schools. In addition, free users of LogopediaDigitală.ro (students, specialists, institutions) will be given free access to all Timlogo content (more than 900 logopedics developed by logopedic specialists). Children will be given full access to Timlogo.ro, free of charge, having the possibility to use unlimited games and all the platform's functionalities. Teachers, parents and specialists will also receive free-of-charge accounts for unlimited use and will be able to create recommendations for children and manage their accounts. In this way, the teachers involved in the project will be able to tailor the learning process to the needs and specifics of each child, using a greater diversity of resources.

Timlogo comprises 476 applications, 239 interactive games, 169 animated activities and 67 video clips organised in 34 modules, each of which is focused on a problematic sound in Romanian. With the existing resources, the 11 educational games will be added, as well as a good practice guide, which includes a number of digital methods and tools in Digital Logopedia.

In total, over the past two years, the Logopedia platform has created over 2,000 accounts for specialists, parents and children. 40 of the 120 psycho-pedagogical and logopedist teachers in the project had the opportunity to participate in training courses and workshops dedicated to learning how to adapt the games in the platform to the needs of each child involved. The project included ten special education institutions, which were equipped with 40 tablets, to facilitate the use of the Logopedia platform and to carry out individual and group educational activities.

According to the Romanian SIC's latest studies, children with disabilities are more likely to experience bullying and cyberbullying than their peers, one of the reasons being the fact that they spend much more time online, mostly in order to contact their parents and friends when they are at school.  Hearing or speech impaired children are often victims of cyberbullying and have no means to address this problem and cope with the situation. With the help of these tools, they can improve their speech and  reduce the risk of being bullied. 

For the better use of the materials developed, the teachers who participated in this project were also trained with regard to the safe use of these tools in the context of online safety, so that they can pass on the information to the children, showing them how Logopedia can improve not only their speech skills, but also the way they interact on the internet and how to cope with issues such as: cyberbullying, personal data or online reputation.

"The educational platform Digital Logopedia, even before its public launch, has become known to be of interest to teachers and specialists working with preschool children who, although not diagnosed with any developmental delay, have major difficulties in expressing themselves. To help them, Logopedia contains 7,000 words and phrases in Romanian, 2000 illustrations and 645 videos. The transfer of resources and information to a more diverse platform, and complex technical support is a necessary step in ensuring that the materials developed by Save the Children come to enrich the user experience and complement the resources in such an important sector as that of children with language deficiencies", said Gabriela Alexandrescu, Executive President of Save the Children.

"Digital Logopedia is proof of the usefulness of digital tools, in helping children with speech impairments. With this online platform, we can reach any place in the country, even in rural areas where logopedists are usually very hard to find. We hope the transfer to Timlogo platform will bring the Long Life Digital Logopedia project to life and be more useful to children who develop their language" said Amalia Fodor, Director of the Orange Foundation.

"Taking Content LogopediaDigitala.ro is part of the common partners' strategy to consecrate Timlogo.ro as the most powerful logopedics tool in Romania. What we all want is a real impact in society. Naturally, the foundation of the collaboration with the Orange Foundation and Save the Children is the awareness that together, we can improve children's lives and we can do it in the long run. The need is clear. There are huge waiting lists for speech therapy, largely due to the fact that there are too few specialists for the large number of children who have language disorders. Many parents quit searching, simply because they do not find a place in a cabinet. The partnership will give the speech therapists, both from the public and from the private sector, the tools to get in touch and work more effectively with these children" said Alex Malleureanu, Co-founder and CMO of Ascendia S.A.

Find out more information about the work of the Romanian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.

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