Dad creates communication app for nonverbal daughter

Software is helping more than 20,000 people with disabilities

By Kirstin O’Connor - Reporter/Anchor

ORLANDO, Fla. - A software developer who began his work as a way to help his daughter is sharing a new app to help thousands of people communicate.

It's something many people do without thinking -- they talk about their wants, needs or feelings. But for 1 billion people around the world who are living with disabilities, oral expression is not always an option.

Carlos Pereira thought back to the day his wife gave birth to their daughter Clara, and found out that, due to a medical mistake, she would spend the rest of her life battling cerebral palsy.

"And since from the moment I found out about what happened to my daughter, empowering people with disabilities became a passion for me," Pereira said.

Pereira searched for a way to communicate with his daughter.

"I would show two cards for her, and I would say, 'OK, Clara, what do you want to eat?' And she would try to touch what she wanted to eat," Pereira said.

The pictures worked. The next step was taking that method to a digital platform. Not long after, Livox was born.

"There are many ways that Livox is getting results for people with disabilities. The first thing is that Livox is up to 4,000 percent cheaper than the current solutions used here in the U.S.,"  Pereira said, "but also, Livox has intelligent algorithms that helps it to shape to adapt itself depending on the disability."

Currently, the software is helping more than 20,000 people with disabilities, and Florida Hospital is expanding that number to help more patients in Central Florida. One of those is 4-year-old Anna Stinson, who was diagnosed with autism at age 2.

"My hope is that one day she can go to college like anybody else. She can do anything she wants in life, and I believe she will. I do. Because of this," Angelique Hall said.

Use of Livox started in Brazil, where the Pereira's are from, but it's now available in 25 languages. Google’s philanthropic arm awarded a $550,000 grant to Livox’s nonprofit partner, Inclusion Without Borders, as part of the Google Impact Challenge: Disabilities.

If you would like more information about how to use Livox, or to set up a therapy session, call 407-303-8080.

Copyright 2017 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.