People with severe disabilities who are unable to speak are among the hardest hit by disasters like Hurricane Harvey. They get separated from their helpers, lose access to their speech-generating devices and their low-tech tools, get their batteries destroyed, get relocated to places where helpers are clueless about communicating with them, etc. etc. Fortunately, a national organization devoted to the support of such people has stepped up with a unique approach to connecting these people with resources and experts who can provide immediate help and support.
Recovers.org is a web portal that enables folks in need to make specific requests for support, folks who want to help to describe the skills they can bring to bear and folks who want to contribute money and resources to do so by one click on their computer. The site has been used successfully for past hurricanes like Sandy, tornadoes like the one that hit Moore, Oklahoma, and for countless other incidents. Now it is being put to the test to help people who are too often the hardest to reach and the last to get help.
The United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication has now set up a targeted Recovers.org web site that enables people with disabilities who can’t use their natural speech and rely on other ways to communicate to make requests for specific help to connect to people who are able to help them. People who need help and people who want to help them can go to https://harveyaac.recovers.org/
MotionSavvy's new device Uni provides communication opportunities for Deaf children and adults that have never been available before. Check out this video to see the device in action and check out their website for more information here.
What is Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC)?
AAC is a term that encompasses all types of non-oral communication. It can be visual such as facial expressions, gestures, pictures or writing. People with severe speech and language problems often rely on different forms of AAC to communicate with those in their environment. Learn more about AAC.
Who can use AAC?
Many people can benefit from the use of low tech or high tech AAC devices and equipment. Patients with Cerebral Palsy, Stroke, Down's Syndrome, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can benefit from devices to aid in communication, access their environment and access online tools such as internet browsers and email. Children with severe oral motor incoordination and weakness such as Apraxia, Cerebral Palsy, Down's Syndrome, Austim Spectrum Disorders and patients who are nonverbal or very limited verbal abilities can also benefit from AAC.
How to Activate Guided Access on your Apple Device
Guided Access is a very useful setting that is available on your Apple device. These instructions can be used to access this feature on any Apple device. I personally use Guided Access to keep patients in a communication or educational app.
The following are links to articles, websites, and blogs that I find useful. I hope you find them useful too.