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Page last updated at 10:37 GMT, Friday, 2 July 2010 11:37 UK
Mia app gets Martin Brooks "Real Dad of the Year" title
Martin Brooks and five year old daughter Mia.
Martin and his daughter, Mia.

A Hertfordshire father has been named Real Dad of the Year for helping his severely disabled child to talk.

Martin Brooks won a public vote on the parenting website Bounty.com to receive the accolade after he developed the iPhone application, iComm.

The app has proved so popular Martin is developing new ones under the name Mia's apps named after his five year old daughter who has cerebral palsy.

Martin told BBC Three Counties: "I was motivated to find a solution for Mia."

The app asks the child questions using pictures of objects and people and makes it possible for the child to communicate the answer to the adult.

Take a tutorial explaining how it works.

Changing lives

Martin told Drivetime presenter, Roberto Perrone he was frustrated because there was nothing out there suitable to aid his daughter:

"When I couldn't find a solution, I made it myself.

"Since it's been taken up by apple I have had literally hundreds of emails from parents around the world saying thank you.

They were in the same situation, they couldn't find anything that was affordable or portable.

"It's been a fantastic thing to get that feedback from other people."

Martin said before this application communicating with Mia was difficult:

"We only had laminated cards, which were heavy and bulky, with a special needs child you have enough stuff to carry around.

"It was frustrating for her and us, because she had an able mind in a very disabled body.

iComm icon available on the iPhone from application downloads.
The iComm app is a hit.

"I heard the slogan there's an app for everyone.

"I looked around and nothing ticked all the boxes for us.

"I saw there was an opportunity to use the inbuilt microphone and camera in the phone to make something very personal to the child.

"I looked into it but I'm the least technical person I know. So I contacted a firm that worked with me, they were the technical side I was the ideas and we made the product," Martin explained.

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