We were saddened and disappointed that PRC and Semantic Compaction filed a lawsuit against us, two speech language pathologists who have emphatically supported their mission that “everyone deserves a voice”.
We came to terms with their decision and actions over these past few months. We have taken all of the necessary and legal steps to defend the lawsuit and protect Speak for Yourself, the app that we created, and that hundreds of people who are unable to talk are using to communicate.
Unfortunately last week, Apple removed our App from the App Store under pressure from Semantic and Prentke Romich. Now our sadness and disappointment have turned to indignation. Speak For Yourself will continue to fight this baseless lawsuit and the obvious, and blatant interference with your fundamental right to a VOICE which is motivated solely by their desire to drive SFY out of existence. That will not happen. We have started our fight in the Court with a motion for an injunction against Semantic and PRC. You can read our court paper by clicking on this link. We will find a way to continue our support, promotion, sale, upgrade and training for this App through any means necessary. Stay tuned.
We want you, our current and prospective clients, your families, teachers, schools, and hospitals, to know that we believe in this App and the life-changing impact it has had on so many lives. We will continue the fight because we are ethically and morally bound to do everything within our capability and skill level according to ASHA, to make “effective communication, a human right, accessible and achievable for all.” That vision remains at the heart of Speak for Yourself – this VOICE will not be silenced.
Basically, Apple removed this app- effectively silencing the people who use it for communication- before the court case was decided. Because a big company told them to.
Quote from that link, with a personal perspective:
Maya can speak to us, clearly, for the first time in her life.We are hanging on her every word.We’ve learned that she loves talking about the days of the week, is weirdly interested in the weather, and likes to pretend that her toy princesses are driving the bus to school (sometimes) and to work (other times).This app has not only allowed her to communicate her needs, but her thoughts as well.It’s given us the gift of getting to know our child on a totally different level.I’ve been so busy embracing this new reality and celebrating that I kind of forgot that there was an ongoing lawsuit.
To get a little less impartial, I also don’t understand how Prentke Romich could think that this was a reasonable, or ethical, move to make. PRC is a 46 year old company whose entire client population is comprised of children and adults who are unable to speak. Their motto (prominently displayed atop their Facebook page) is “We Believe Everyone Deserves A Voice.” How can they reconcile their mission statement with their strategic removal of Speak for Yourself from the market, effectively blocking access to new nonverbal users and potentially causing the removal of the app from the current users who are using it as their only voice?
My daughter cannot speak without this app.
She cannot ask us questions. She cannot tell us that she’s tired, or that she wants yogurt for lunch. She cannot tell her daddy that she loves him.
No one should have the power to take this away from her.
What would happen if we lost SfY? I have no idea. As I’ve explained before, we have tried other communication apps and didn’t find any that were a good match for Maya. Interestingly, we also carefully considered purchasing a communication device from PRC, and met with one of their representatives in November, nine weeks before a post on my Facebook wall introduced me to SfY (and seven weeks before it even existed in the iTunes store). We examined PRC’s devices and were disappointed to see that they weren’t a good fit for Maya. For us, this wasn’t an issue of an expensive device versus a “cheap” app. This was an issue of an ineffective device (for Maya) versus an app that she understood and embraced immediately. The only app, the only system, that she immediately adopted as her own way of communicating.
This app is her only voice.
The fact that my daughter’s ability to speak is becoming a casualty of a patent battle between two businesses is beyond my comprehension. This is a patent issue, a monetary issue, a legal issue, a business issue. This should be handled in a business vs. business way, within the court system. PRC’s decision to fight for the removal of this app from the iTunes store isn’t just an aggressive move against Speak for Yourself, it’s an attack on my child, the other children using this app, and the children who are ready to begin using this app but now cannot.
PLEASE REBLOG THIS, SPREAD THE WORD, CONTACT THE PEOPLE LISTED IN THE SECOND LINK.