Monday, December 4, 2023

Communication Devices For Speech Impaired

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How Do You Use These Accessories

Assistive Devices for Speech and Hearing Impairment and Role of Teacher

Each accessory allows for different forms of communication, speech generation, and typing. They will connect to the Wi-Fi, mobile network or your mobile device via Bluetooth and allow you to make a call using a synthesised voice or send a text that is translated from an alternative form of communication, such as visual inputs.

Voice Restoration Access And Availability

Caregivers of individuals with head and neck cancer have reported that they primarily taught themselves communication strategies for identifying problems and meeting individual needs, which required intensive effort and creativity on their part. These reports indicate that, postsurgically, these individuals and their caregivers are in critical need of assistance in meeting communication needs . Similarly, nurses have attributed nursepatient communication breakdowns to the lack of readily manageable and interpretable communication systems .

Suggested Citation:The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work ParticipationSuggested Citation:The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation

Typed Text Directly To Speech

  • Easiest to use Augmentative Communication keyboard device available today
  • Used in support of medical therapies for impaired voice communication
  • Affordable assistive speech for children and adults … simple, flexible, powerful
  • Qualifiies as DME, Medicare HCPCS E2508 Speech generating devices

Affordable, powerful Easy – Speech Generating Device :

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A Communication Device For The Speech Impaired

DESCRIPTION: This project addresses the alternative communication and computer access needs of individuals who, as a result of a neuromuscular disorder, e.g. cerebral palsy, are severely speech impaired and/or lack the fine motor control necessary to use direct selection to access an Augmentative and Alternative Communication device or computer. Currently these individuals use single switch access which sharply limits their input rate. Phase I established the feasibility of a new system for access, customizable to the motor characteristics of each user, which substantially improves the input and error rates of single switch users. In Phase II, the prototype will be enhanced to provide features required for successful commercialization.PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION:The proposed technology has commercial application in facilitating literacy acquisition and enhancing the communication capabilities, and consequently the quality of life, of individuals with severe speech and/or motor impairments resulting from neuromuscular disorders, such as cerebral palsy.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

Functional Speech Following Head/neck Cancer Surgery And Radiation

Communication and Speech

For individuals postsurgery, speech outcomes are the strongest predictor of health-related quality of life, inhibiting a persons ability to return to work, establish or maintain relationships, or participate in everyday activities . Psychosocial quality of life decreases as a result of loss of voice after head and neck cancer treatments. Individuals may experience feelings of solitude, limitations in social relationships that result in social withdrawal, and reduced sexual enjoyment . Key factors in participation in communication include severity of speech loss, cognitive function , and extent of surgical resection .

One study found that at 3 months following head/neck cancer treatment, 63 percent of individuals postsurgery described broadly functional speech with natural speech or when accessing a tracheoesophageal voice prosthesis , an artificial/electrolarynx , and/or esophageal speech . Another 22 percent of individuals postsurgery reported at least moderate speech disabilities using the same assistive methods of communication , citing


2 The images in Table 6-4 serve as examples of device categories only and should not be considered an endorsement of specific products or manufacturers.

Suggested Citation:The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation

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Talk With A Specialist

Consulting a speech therapist or AAC expert could help you find devices that meet your needs. If youre trying to decide what option is the best fit, its a good idea to reach out to someone who can offer some additional insight. Speak with a specialist who can point you in the right direction for AAC buttons and devices that will accommodate special needs requirements optimally.

If youre hoping to open up new means of communication, try out one of our speaking devices, or contact us for more information today.

Big Talk Assistive Technology Communicator

Price: About $215

Why We Love It: The large target makes it easy for users with limited muscle control.

This device consists of a large, colorful button that can be activated with a slight touch by the user. A single message of up to 20 seconds can be stored. Plus, an external capability switch allows the device to be used as a switch to activate other devices. Use several to create a system of communication.

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Takeaways And Key Points

There are so many different devices available that help support individuals with speech disorders and hearing loss. The needs and services that these technologies provide have a significant range and can be covered by an individuals insurance and/or school.

I would recommend talking to a speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, or your childs doctor for recommendations of devices and what they think could benefit the individual based on their needs.

There are AAC evaluations that can be referred and could benefit your child and help aid the search for the device that would best support the individual. These evaluations will take into account what your child does, their skill level, and many other aspects.

Evaluations and referrals are a key and important part that can help pinpoint what device is going to work the best. Also what device will provide the most support and allow for success because the childs lifestyle and skill level were taken into consideration when searching for the best device.

What Types Of Assistive Listening Devices Are Available

Communicating with an AAC Device

Several types of ALDs are available to improve sound transmission for people with hearing loss. Some are designed for large facilities such as classrooms, theaters, places of worship, and airports. Other types are intended for personal use in small settings and for one-on-one conversations. All can be used with or without hearing aids or a cochlear implant. ALD systems for large facilities include hearing loop systems, frequency-modulated systems, and infrared systems.

This logo informs people that a public area is looped.

Hearing loop systems use electromagnetic energy to transmit sound. A hearing loop system involves four parts:

  • A sound source, such as a public address system, microphone, or home TV or telephone
  • A thin loop of wire that encircles a room or branches out beneath carpeting
  • A receiver worn in the ears or as a headset

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Benefits Of Assistive Technology Communication Products

There are several benefits of using the communication products:

  • They help people with communication disorders to express themselves.
  • They increase self esteem and confidence of their users.
  • They enable people to live their lives fully without being excluded in the society.
  • They improve the transmission of sound for people with hearing loss.
  • They contribute to the wellbeing of people with disabilities.
  • They promote the efficiency of learning
  • What Is A Telecommunication Relay Service

    A telecommunication relay service helps persons with a hearing loss or speech impairment communicate with people who have a regular phone, cordless phone, pay phone, or a cell phone. The hearing-impaired person calls another person with the help of a communications assistant . The hearing-impaired person calls using a text telephone , which the CA then verbally relays to the other caller. The CA then types the person’s response back to the TTY caller.

    There are two types of telecommunication relay services: voice carry-over and hearing carry-over .

    • With VCO, the caller speaks directly to the other person, but reads the response typed by the CA.

    • With HCO, the caller listens to the other caller, but types his or her response.

    The CAs are professional conversations are relayed word for word and are confidential. Telecommunication relay services are free of charge and may be reached by dialing 7-1-1.

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    Determine The Device Applications

    First, what will the user need the communicator for? Will they be answering yes or no questions? If so, a two-message communicator could work. Communicating in complex public settings? Try a wearable device.

    Give thought to the products day-to-day applications and key objectives, and determine what is most important in the device you choose. As you make the decision, keep in mind any unique needs the user may have that could affect their ability to use the device. Having an idea of how the device will be used can help you choose the right one.

    Functionality Of Voice Restoration Technologies

    Top 10 AAC (Augmentative &  Alternative Communication) Devices

    Considered the gold standard, TEPs are deemed effective for many individuals postlaryngectomy and are associated with low occurrence of medical complications . Still, the resulting voice is sometimes considered monotonous and unpleasant.

    Studies have shown that voice restoration with tracheoesophageal puncture is superior to that with an electrolarynx and ESS (Clements et al.,

    Suggested Citation:The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation

    1999 Eadie et al., 2016 Finzia and Bergman, 2001 Ward et al., 2003). In addition to surgery and radiation, factors associated with head and neck cancer influence speech intelligibility. Decreases in intelligibility are associated with increases in tumor size increases in the volume of tissue resected the need for reconstructive surgery and tumor site, with poorer intelligibility in cases involving the floor of the mouth or lower alveolar crest . One recent study found lowest stress and perceived handicap with ESS, followed by an electrolarynx and then tracheoesophageal puncture . One critical consideration is that all voice restoration methods rely on the articulatory musculature to produce speech. Thus, loss of articulatory musculature during surgical resection has significant consequences for the production of intelligible speech .

    Voice Restoration and AAC

    Suggested Citation:The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation

    Factors Affecting Device Use

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    What Are The Types Of Communication Devices

    Enabling Devices offers the largest variety of speech-generating communication devices for people with disabilities. Our AAC devices include simple one and two message communicators, more complex progressive communicators, wearable communication devices, and AAC devices for special needs classrooms.

    As you consider what type of communicator might work best for you or someone you know, feel free to refer to this list of our offerings:

    • One-message communicators: These devices play one recorded message at the press of a button. Communicators vary in size and have other features like lights, texture and mounts to make communication accessible and rewarding.
    • Two-message communicators: Like one-message communicators, these devices play recorded messages when activated. Theyre perfect for simple communication.
    • Progressive communicators: Progressive speaking devices can grow along with the user. Display multiple icons with messages, and record multiple levels. Great for developing language skills.
    • Wearable communication devices: Wearable communication devices allow people to communicate while on the go. We offer devices that can be worn on the hip, arm, leg or wrist.
    • Devices for classrooms: Communication devices in the classroom can help students learn and get involved. Mountable devices to put around the room can be especially helpful.

    What Are Hearing And Speech Communication Services And Devices

    Along with medical intervention and hearing aids, there are many devices and services available to help improve and support communication in daily life. For example, in 1993, the Americans with Disabilities Act began requiring all telephone companies to provide telecommunications relay services. Other services and devices range from telephone amplifiers to visual alarm systems. New devices are portable and can work with cell phones.

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    Does An Aac Device Have To Be Used All The Time

    The short answer is no, you dont have to use the device all the time. Verbal speech is always encouraged. Additionally, there may be times when a gesture can be faster than using a device. However, an AAC device is great tool to have in your toolbox for communicating complex messages, particularly to people with whom you are less familiar. This can help make you more independent.

    The Need For Communication In The Digital Era

    Torchit ‘VOIS: Smart Gloves’ for Hearing and Speech Impaired – An Assistive communication Aid.

    Language is the chance for education, the opportunity to build relationships and to share experiences and feelings.

    At the same time, the increasing digitization of our society in the most diverse areas increases the complexity and requirements for digital literacy to participate in daily life.

    The fact remains that more than two billion people worldwide have different types and degrees of disability or age-related barriers that make it difficult, if not impossible, the use of information and communication technology.

    Consequently, people with impaired language development or impaired motor and cognitive skills can suffer severe consequences like isolation and reduced quality of life.

    But not everything is lost: fortunately, nowadays there is a wide range of tools that help to initiate communication, solidify it or lead it to alternative ways. This is materialized in the existence of Augmentative and Alternative Communication devices .

    Alternative communication can give speech or a means to communicate to people with disabilities and, for them, Augmentative Alternative Communication makes a huge difference.

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    Mouse Replacement Devices As Access To The Computer

    Several companies are developing commercially available switch access for the iPad and Android tablets.

    Maybe the best options in this field right now are:

    • Mouse4all: allows access to Android devices to those unable to manipulate them by touching the screen.
    • Tecla: allows an individual to interact with their iOS and Android devices, computers, and smart home systems, hands-free with ability switches.

    Also, special keyboards, joysticks, a specially designed oral mouse, and various sensors such as an accelerometer can serve as a replacement for a mouse or keyboard and give people with barriers access to digital communication or workplace support.

    Functional Speech Following Tracheostomy

    In tracheostomy, the vocal mechanism typically remains fully functional however, respiratory air is directed through the tracheostomy tube instead of upward through the vocal cords. As a result, voicing is difficult to impossible without use of a tracheostomy speaking valve . A TSV, a small one-way valve prosthesis that is placed on the end of a tracheostomy tube, is designed to redirect exhaled air upward through the vocal cords in the larynx . All TSVs have similar components, but their engineering/design varies. In all TSVs, a diaphragm either remains open and closes on expiration or remains closed and opens when inspiratory effort is applied. All valves close during expiration, and all attach to the hub of a tracheostomy tube . Individuals having undergone tracheostomy often benefit from a speaking-valve prosthesis that uses a one-way valve to redirect exhaled air from the trachea upward through intact vocal cords to produce natural voicing.

    Suggested Citation:The Promise of Assistive Technology to Enhance Activity and Work Participation

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    Enabling Devices Tactile Symbol Communicator

    Price: About $500

    Why We Love It: The tactile buttons accommodate visually impaired users.

    This portable symbol communicator, which can store up to 36 messages, has a total of six removable tactile symbols that allow the user to push a button to relay a message. As a tactile symbol communicator, it is perfect for users who are blind or visually impaired. We like this device because it offers six levels of communication, with six messages per level. When setting up this device, it provides up to six seconds of record time per message.

    Price: About $175

    Why We Love It: Its affordable and practical.

    This device wins for its affordability. At under $200, the GOTALK 9+ is lightweight and durable and has a 45-message capacity, five recording levels, and a nine-minute recording time. The user simply presses the appropriate message key that corresponds with a picture.

    Who Is Aac For

    Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) â Creative Solutions ...

    There are many reasons why a person may not be able to communicate using speech. They may have a developmental disability which has affected the development of speech. They may have an acquired disorder that has affected the persons ability to speak. Many people with different communication difficulties, speech impediments and disorders can benefit from AAC.

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    What would you like more information about?

    About 46 million people in the U.S. have hearing or other communication disorders, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. These disorders can have a profound effect on individuals lives and how they interact with the world. Professionals with expertise in speech-language pathology help individuals improve their communication to the fullest extent possible.

    Fortunately, todays speech-language pathologists have a wealth of speech pathology tools to assist them in furthering their expertise and working with clients. From simulation tools to communication devices to mobile apps, these tools have expanded speech-language pathologists ability to help clients make lasting improvements in their communication skills. Anyone who may be considering enrolling in an online Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology program can benefit from becoming familiar with these tools and how they can enhance speech-language pathology.

    What Are Aac Devices

    Looking for a definition for AAC devices, we can take that from the Wikipedia: Augmentative and alternative communication is an umbrella term that encompasses the communication methods used to supplement or replace speech or writing for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language.

    AAC devices are tools that can be required either for a temporary disability or a permanent one. The use of an AAC device can give the user the possibility to express herself. Friends, family and caregivers can also benefit from being able to communicate with the user.

    In any of these cases, if you are working to help adults with an important communication impairment, you will need information about AAC devices. And today, fortunately, there are many to choose from.

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