SWORD is software designed for the treatment of word production difficulties in APRAXIA and APHASIA, developed at the University of Sheffield in a collaboration between Rosemary Varley, Sandra Whiteside, and software developer Geoff Cookmartin.
SWORD is an evidence-based therapy program. In two studies conducted at The University of Sheffield, Sword resulted in improvements in accuracy and fluency in people with apraxia and aphasia, with improvements maintained up to 18 weeks after the intervention.
- SWORD has been designed so that a person with little previous computer experience can interact with the program.
- SWORD is pre-loaded with a vocabulary of 70 highly functional words. For each vocabulary item, there are associated high quality images, an audio recording of the word and a video of a speaker producing the word.
- SWORD is a complete program of therapy. It allows intervention on a specific vocabulary set and moves from multi-sensory facilitation of word forms to production. It incorporates contemporary principles such as sensory-motor interconnectedness, and error-reducing strategies into the therapy design.
- The software trains the generalisation of word production from repetition, to word production in sentence frames, to independent lexical retrieval.
- SWORD differs from traditional segment-based therapies for apraxia of speech. There is currently little evidence that therapies involving practice of isolated articulatory positions result in improved speech control in more naturalistic situations.
3 Versions Available...
SWORD is available in Professional, Community Therapist USB and Home-user versions.
- Professional version allows the therapist to introduce new content into the program (e.g., new vocabulary items, regional variants of speech files), and to alter the programme default settings in order to create an individually designed therapy program. The individually tailored version can then be transferred to a satellite machine. It also permits detailed tracking of user interactions with the program (e.g., time-on-task, accuracy levels), and the capacity to print out performance summaries and transfer recordings of user speech to other applications. The use of SWORD by multiple users can also be managed centrally within the administration facility.
- SWORD Community Therapist USB allows 3 home users to be managed using a USB Stick
- SWORD Home-user version allows people with speech impairment to self-administer controlled quality therapy at home.
Clinically Designed by World Renowned Experts
SWORD is based on dual-process views of speech control (e.g., Whiteside & Varley, 1998, Cortex; Varley & Whiteside, 2001, Aphasiology), which suggest that higher frequency words are stored as gestalts (vs. by segment-by-segment assembly).
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