Mel Chua has been an ally of Plover since pretty much the very beginning. She wrote a fantastic article on Plover for opensource.com, helped me with steno pedagogical theory, came up with the idea of using lasers to manufacture the keytoppers, and has just generally been an unending source of inspiration and awe. She's an engineer, hacker, teacher, dancer, writer, open source advocate, and visionary.
She's currently a finalist in Oticon's Focus on People Awards:
Click here to vote for Mel!
"If I win the first place award, here’s what I’m planning on doing:
1. Using the $1k given to me to offset cochlear implant medical costs.
2. Giving the other $1k to Plover, an open source software project that brings the cost of live transcription (Communication Access Realtime Transcription, or CART – think “closed captioning for real life”) from $4000 down to $40. Making this capability cheaper and more widespread (it’s very rare right now) would open up a ton of accessibility doors to people who struggle to understand spoken English (maybe they have hearing loss, or they’re still learning English, or have auditory processing disorders, or need to multitask and watch kids or cook dinner and are floating in and out of the conversation). It’s being developed by a tiny, tiny group of very excited volunteers and needs all the help it can get!
3. Working with the audiology department at Purdue University, where I’m a PhD student (in engineering), to use the hearing instruments for labs and demos to educate more students about hearing technologies."
So if she wins this contest, not only will she get $1,000 to help her pay for cochlear implants, but she'll give $1,000 to go towards development of Plover! Please vote and boost the signal. Mel is one of the most amazing people I've ever met. The Plover Project is incredibly lucky to have her on its side.
Please click here to vote for Mel!