slp app in a weekTactus Therapy Solutions, a leader in speech therapy apps for adults, is preparing to do the impossible.

5 days, 4 people, 1 evidence-based SLP app.

Start to finish, this brave team is going to create an SLP app before your eyes in just the 40 hours of an average work week in a unique type of appathon.

Follow along at home or work with our live blog post, updated throughout the week, or follow on Twitter to see what’s happening (#SLPApp).

The App

We can’t tell you what the app is yet, but it is an AAC app, and given the time constraints, it will be fairly simple (is anything ever really simple?).

It’s based on best practices for dysarthria, and will also be great for people with aphasia. As with all the Tactus Therapy apps, there will be lots of settings to customize the user experience, and there will be customization to personalize it.

The Event

The Tactus Therapy team will meet each day in their downtown Vancouver office to work on the app. They will start Monday morning, February 2, at 9 am Pacific, and submit the app to Apple by 5 pm on Friday, February 6.

The office only holds 3 desks, so space will be tight. They’ll need to communicate effectively and efficiently without too many interruptions if they’re going to get this done.

The Audience

You! Anyone with an interest in apps, programming, speech therapy, assistive technology, or AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) should learn something from the experience. Students, parents, clinicians, families, educators, and developers are all welcome to ask questions, add opinions, or offer advice – this will be an interactive week.

The Team

Megan Sutton, SLPMeet Megan, a speech-language pathologist specializing in adult communication disorders. Megan has a dream to help more people communicate better through technology. She designs the apps, heads up marketing, and will be writing the live blog. She has read the literature, seen the need, and is ready to bring this app idea to life.

Ben Carter, ProgrammerMeet Ben, a computer programmer and co-founder of Tactus Therapy. His logical problem-solving abilities and attention to detail give Tactus Therapy apps their dependable edge. His British charm will help keep the team on track and under control. He has no idea how he let Megan talk him into doing this.

Clifford Sutton, graphic designMeet Clifford, an engineer-turned-graphic designer, and Megan’s husband. He’ll be adding color and style to the app, blending visual appeal with clean functionality. What will the new app icon look like? What colors will he use? How will he survive in a small office for a whole week with his wife?

Clément Cheng, programmerMeet Clé, the newest member of the Tactus Therapy team. He’s a junior programmer and poker wiz who decided to take a gamble with this small tech start-up. He’s motivated by a love of languages and a brother with autism. Watch as he works on his first new app since joining the team. No pressure Clé!

The Purpose

Many people want to build an app, but don’t know where to begin. They don’t understand what goes into the process. By developing a small but useful app, Tactus Therapy will help educate people about the app development process while also highlighting a valuable, simple communication technique that will help the end users better communicate their thoughts and ideas.

 The Caveat

It is nearly impossible to build a quality app from scratch in a week. What you won’t see is the research that has already gone into the necessary features and evidence for this app, the establishment of a corporation with an Apple developer’s license (and all of the financial, legal, and logistical issues associated with both), and finding the right team of people to do the work.

This is being done as an exercise in teamwork by an established app developer and should NOT be interpreted as “all speech therapy apps can be made in a week.” We will discuss the differences between the work done in this event and in normal app development as we go.

Starts Monday

Don’t miss this exciting event to see an app come to life. Then wait with us through the painfully long Apple approval process. Once the app is released, you can take advantage of introductory sale pricing through February. Join in on Twitter or by commenting on the blog to be a part of the process.

Tell your friends and colleagues – the action starts Monday, February 2, 2015.

NOTE: This event is now over. You can read the full live blog post to see how it went! 


In the meantime, read our Anatomy of an App post to see what goes into an app and sign up for our e-newsletter so you won’t miss the news when the app comes out.