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Jalal’s Journey: How Technology Makes Him Heard

Jalal Burton lost his voice due to ALS, but he can still speak with his family using adaptive computer technology

By Joe Nixon

Jalal Burton lost his physical voice to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), but he’s not silent.

He’s still got corny dad jokes and still talks with his wife Bea and their four children about everything from dinner to when the kids need to be home.

His voice connection is adaptive computerized communication technology secured with the help of Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN)’s ALS clinic, part of Lehigh Valley Fleming Neuroscience Institute. A computer tracks Burton’s pupils as his eyes focus on letters on an on-screen keyboard. On the back of the computer, the words spelled by Jalal appear and are spoken by the computer voice.

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