What is a VAST™ Video?
At a basic level, a VAST video is a close-up video of a trained model's mouth (along with synchronized audio) as they speak (or sing) a written script. This application of video technology can be highly effective to facilitate and improve communication abilities for speech-impaired individuals.
The user watches the video (and possibly written text), listens to the audio, and attempts to speak simultaneously. With repetition and practice, this allows individuals to speak full sentences and communicate a message themselves.
The VAST videos have been effective in the following areas:
- Facilitating live communication – allowing individuals to speak in public situations
- Therapy – providing a mechanism to practice more intensively, in or out of the clinical setting
- Child motor speech disorders – VAST videos have been used in varying fashions with children with Autism and Developmental Apraxia of Speech
While the VAST video concept is simplistic on the surface, our experience in using the videos with varying clients has revealed many challenges. See our FAQ Discussion around the question of producing video yourself.
Through extensive clinical experimentation, we have established production parameters for our VAST videos that maximize our users' likelihood of success. It all begins with a capable mouth model - consistency in rate and rhythm, controlled oral movements and precise articulation are very important. Please see the discussion of our VAST Models.
We understand that users need their VAST videos at different speeds. Individual impairments obviously differ significantly and we know that users' speed preferences change over time. Being comfortable with the speed of a video is very important for the user's success. We will provide each custom recording video at 3 different speeds. This allows the user to start slow, practice and progress.
We have determined that the following speed levels are appropriate for most users (and for which we have established controls for consistency):
BASIC - for users that need more time to make each speech sound and want more time between words; users may want to choose this speed when you are new to the technique or when practicing a new sound
MODERATE - for users who are beginning to feel comfortable using the technique and feel they can speed up the mouth movements slightly, while paying attention to pauses and phrasing
EXPERT - for users who have practiced with the technique enough that following the video takes less effort and they feel ready to add in some changes in inflection
As part of our service, we offer the inclusion of text with the VAST videos. Many users have found the additional text support helpful in producing speech. Written text is included in the video file as a subtitle option – the text (in short-phrases) is displayed at the bottom of the video and is coordinated with the spoken words. This also allows the user to dynamically turn the text option on or off as they are practicing with the video or as their needs change over time.
We recommend that you include text with your first request to determine if the text option is helpful for you.
Finally, we offer professional-level video production quality - the less distractions (which can be present in lower-level production quality) for the user, the better. High quality lighting also benefits the ability to clearly see the oral movements.
We will produce your videos at one or more formats that work for you:
- Mobile - iPhone/iPod Touch (480x320)
- Tablet – iPad/iPhone HD (960x640)
- Full sized – (1080x720)