"I had just received my OLPC through the Give One Get One
program and had a sense of curious excitement about this new
platform, and little idea of the possibilities. "Hi Matt, what's
that thing?" asked Sue. The green laptop had caught her eye. After
I explained, she immediately thought, "Could this help my
"Based on Cynthia's use of other computers, Sue expected that
she could probably use the OLPC's touchpad, and possibly the
keyboard. After a quick web search, I used the built-in Espeak
utility from the command line to make the OLPC say, "Hello, this is
a test of speech synthesis."
"The missing piece was a software interface to allow Cynthia to
select concepts to speak through a menu of icons. Free
Icon-To-Speech is that missing piece: it is an open-source software
Activity designed to transform the OLPC into a Augmentative
Assistive Communication device with more functionality and
ruggedness than devices that cost over ten times as much."