Using Technology for Communication
The Assistive Communication and Daily Living Center offers persons with disabilities the use of augmentative and alternative communication devices for more effective communication.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) refers to communication methods outside of verbal speech, which persons with speech, language, and/or voice disorders may use to communicate. AAC can include the use of signs or gestures; communication books or boards; and/or voice output speech generating devices.
AAC Evaluation for Children and Adults
Speech-language pathologists work with adults and children with communication disabilities to help determine the best AAC strategies that will help an individual to meet their activity and participation goals including the following:
- Speech impairments due to diagnoses such as stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI), cerebral plasy, Down syndrome, Apraxia, or ALS;
- Language impairments due to autism, stroke, or intellectual disability (ID);
- Voice impairments due to diagnoses such as head/neck cancer or vocal-fold paralysis
The AAC clinic uses a team-based approach to determine the most appropriate Augmentative and Alternative Communication options for clients. AAC clinic services include:
- Evaluation for non-speech-generating and speech-generating AAC systems
- Therapeutic services to train and implement recommended AAC systems
- Consultations regarding appropriate assistive technology to aid with functional communication, as well as language and speech rehabilitation
- Continuing education related to AAC
Independent Living Center
The state-of-the-art Independent Living Center integrates assistive technology into a simulated home-like environment. Offering the most recent accessible technology, individuals are immersed in real-life situations. With the assistance of clinical staff who help elect the most appropriate high- and low-tech options, individuals gain hands-on experience to increase their independence and accessibility at home.
The fully accessible kitchen offers front-facing controls and drawer-style microwave which provides access from a wheelchair. Height-adjustable and pull-out cabinets allow easy access for individuals with limited mobility or reach. Countertops can be adjusted to a variety of heights provide a comfortable work surface from a standing or seated position.
Therapists work with individuals to practice daily activities, such as setting the table while navigating around furniture; crossing various flooring surfaces; and transporting items between rooms. A sliding glass door off the dining room area offers access to a simulated outdoor patio.
Three Differently Configured Bathrooms
A high-tech bathroom can be accessed by way of a ceiling track system, and includes a walk-in tub with seat and a roll-in shower. Alternative bathrooms replicate traditional layouts and allow for experimentation with a variety of equipment.
The Sleep NumberÂ® bed allows individuals to raise or lower the head of the bed with voice activation. This technology improves independence with getting in or out of bed, as well as completing self-care activities while in bed. Individuals with mobility restrictions may practice using the ceiling track to move from the bed into the accessible bathroom.
Controls can be used to adjust the lighting or change the television channel. A motorized lift chair assists individuals to a standing position for more independent mobility.
Front-loading machines allow access to laundry facilities from a seated position. Selecting accessible appliances makes it easier to complete daily activities independently.
Fully adaptable, height-adjustable desk provides computer access. Options for low-vision include lighting options and magnifiers. Therapists can work with patients on computer tasks while adjusting workspace height or lighting levels to maximize independence.