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SpeechEasy Featured on NBC

SpeechEasy, a device developed by three ECU researchers to aid fluency in stutterers, was featured Oct. 21 on the NBC-TV program, “Three Wishes.”

The show, which grants wishes for people across the United States, presented the device to an Atlanta area man.

Drs. Joseph Kalinowski, Michael Rastatter and Andrew Stuart in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in the School of Allied Health Sciences at ECU spent more than 10 years researching the use of altered auditory feedback to produce fluency for stutterers. The research led to the development of SpeechEasy, which is licensed and marketed by Janus Development Group Inc. of Greenville.

Resembling a hearing aid, the SpeechEasy is worn in one ear and acts as a miniature PA system. It emulates choral speech by altering the pitch or frequency of the stutterer’s voice.

Known as delayed or frequently altered auditory feedback, the SpeechEasy’s signal tricks the brain into thinking a second voice is speaking in unison with the user, which inhibits stuttering.

For more information, visit www.ecu.edu/csd, www.speecheasy.com, and www.nbc.com/Three_Wishes.

10/10/05
This page originally appeared in the Nov. 18, 2005 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at http://www.ecu.edu/news/poe/archives.cfm.