Technology powering communication

Posted on 25 August 2015 by Yooralla

For Speech Pathology Week, we’re looking at the difference speech pathologists make in the lives of people with disability.

For people unable to communicate through speech, technology advancements present significant, exciting opportunities to chat, share and connect.

Communication is a fundamental human need and right, yet for many people without the ability to communicate through speech, sharing opinions, thoughts and ideas can be a challenge. With the advent and continued evolution of assistive technology, more people are now able to communicate through devices and equipment.

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is a term which describes the various methods or strategies that can replace or enhance speech. 

AAC varies in complexity and cost, and can range include:

  • low-tech devices like books and boards with pictures and text 
  • iPads or other tablets with communication apps
  • voice amplifiers and other communication software
  • electronic speech-generating devices which ‘speak’ typed messages 
  • eye-gaze powered speech technology.

Speech pathologists play a crucial role in connecting children and adults with the rights tools to communicate. Speech pathologists at Yooralla’s ComTEC service provide unbiased, practical advice on assistive technology to assist people of virtually any age with everyday communication.

Being able to communicate can mean many things for different people – from being able to order a favourite meal without assistance to sharing a personal point of view, making a complaint, or telling someone “I love you!” 

Speech pathologists at ComTEC can also provide information, training and advice to support people, including other therapists, family members and friends. Professional development sessions are provided for the learning needs of other speech pathologists who are seeking expertise in the area of AAC.

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