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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Technology is helping those with developmental disabilities communicate in ways that, just a few years ago, seemed impossible.

At a group home, iPads are helping change lives.

The Center for Developmental Disabilities recently received two grants to buy 20 iPads and special touch-to-talk software for the people it serves.

“I want people to know that even though my body is broken, my brain is just fine,” said Adam Dame by using his new device.

Dame has cerebral palsy. As he’s gotten older, his speech has deteriorated so much that he can barely talk.

The iPad has changed all that, allowing the 35-year-old to express his thoughts, and eliminate guessing by staffers as to what he needs or is trying to say.

“It’s frustrating,” said Jen Downs of the Center for Developmental Disabilities. “It’s frustrating for him, it’s frustrating for me. It’s frustrating for the rest of the world because he wants to be able to tell us what’s going on. But with the use of the iPad, while it might take him some time to type it out and speak it, it’s as plain as can be and there is no question as to what he’s saying.”

Before he received the tablet, the center says Dame would have to repeat his thoughts five times or more, for anyone, even those who work with him on a daily basis, to figure out what he was saying.

The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and the William Brace Trust provided about $25,000 for the program.

Without it, Dame says other specialized communication devices cost more than $10,000 each. That’s out-of-reach for most adult with developmental disabilities, who are on Medicaid.

To learn more about the Center for Developmental Disabilities go to: