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SpeechEasy device to be featured on national TV

GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Oct. 19, 2005)   —   SpeechEasy, a device developed by three East Carolina University researchers to aid fluency in stutterers, will be featured Friday on the NBC-TV program "Three Wishes."

The show, which grants wishes for people across the United States, will give the device to an Atlanta area man. It is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. Friday.

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.

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