Sermo Avenue – Ivan Tilev

Sermo Avenue brings the unique vibrations of spoken word to the palm of your child’s hand to help reinforce their learning experience.

This app is designed as an assistive tool for parents who want to improve the vocabulary of their deaf or hard of hearing child by using haptic vibrations and interactive activities. While this is a very exciting new technology, the haptic vibrations are only supported by iPhones 8 and later.

The app is set up as a “sandbox” learning environment to be enjoyed by parent(s) and child together. After picking a card from a selection of familiar, everyday objects, you are taken to a flashcard that serves as the theoretical “sandbox.” From the flashcard you have three options. The first option is to click the word where you will be able to hear the word spoken out loud and FEEL the EXACT representation of that audio through haptic vibrations.

One of the biggest challenges your child may face in their development speech is having access to new words. While technology like Sermo Avenue can help, the best way to improve your child’s vocabulary is through consistent interaction and communication with a parent or loved one. This is why we have two activities that promote more interaction with your child.

The first activity is a very simple syllable-based puzzle that is broken into as many pieces as there are syllables for the word on the flashcard. As you select a puzzle piece to move it and complete the puzzle, the haptic and audio representation of that syllable are played. This puzzle can be replayed as many times as you want. The second activity is specifically designed for you and your child to complete together. This activity acts as a “hunt” for the two of you to find and take a photo of other objects that share similar characteristics with the original word.

The app is currently best used to help children between the ages of 2 and 4 who are deaf or hard of hearing and have hearing aids. The vibrations can be used to complement the audible sound of the word and the visual illustrations of the word to help reinforce the particular articulations and rhythms for each word.