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Friday, September 20, 2013

postheadericon Give a child a voice! No, really...

Hello! Happy Friday.

While I always have good intentions of staying up to date with posts, it can be hard when life gets in the way. Today I am writing to talk about a project idea I have to recondition phones and tablets for use as communication devices.

AAC - Augmentative and Alternative Communication

One of my strong areas of interest in the field has always been the use of AAC. I love the idea of giving someone a voice when they otherwise struggle to communicate. There are many, many different types of AAC. Just some brief examples:

  • Low tech - Using items like pictures to request needs and desires. Can also include the activation of a device (think -- a big button!) to give a pre-recorded message. You can also see items that are devices created to play several pre-recorded messages.
  • High tech - This would encompass devices like computers, tablets, phones, etc. that run programs to generate speech. Some programs/apps work with simple pre-recorded messages. Others, which are more advanced, use speech synthesis to allow for the pronunciation of any words that are input. Some even allow for the addition of grammatical morphemes and automatically add syntactic elements!
Who needs it?

This answer is so wide... lots of kids and people do! The populations I see that I feel could benefit from a device include those who are unable to speak verbally, those who have gross motor difficulties that make the use of sign language impractical, those who can speak verbally but who struggle to do so; children with Autism; children with Apraxia of Speech; children with Down Syndrome; so many different kids. Any child who we can encourage to have a better way of communicating!

Here is where you can help:

I want to help children to receive devices for little to no cost to the family. Insurance, in most cases, will not cover high tech AAC devices completely or at all.  I need your help to get these kids devices. 

Devices??

  • Old phones - Android or iPhone only - which have only cosmetic damage. They need to be in working condition with the ability to connect to a WiFi network.
    • If you have a phone that has been deactivated, and it could access an app store, chances are it will work!
  • iPads and iPod Touches - this really would be a dream donation, though I know that is very unlikely. 
What will happen to my old electronics device?

I plan to take the phones and tablets, wipe them entirely, and use them only over WiFi networks. I will download free, lite, or low cost communication applications that can be personalized for children on my caseload or children who I hear are in need from my SLP friends. Depending on the quantity and quality of devices received, the families may receive these devices to keep or receive them on a lending basis to trial until we can provide them with a similar device. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

postheadericon Speechie Speaking Speaks Again!

Hello!!

Yes, yes I am here. Speechie Speaking is reborn!

I have made a few tweaks in the design layout to fix some errors, but I plan to get back into writing and sharing about my love of all things Speechie.

Updates on me:
I am married! I married my high school sweetheart in November 2012. The last year was simply a whirlwind of preparation for our DIY wedding that was held at my parent's home. Since then, I have slowly been adjusting to life without a million wedding planning tasks to tend to. It has been nice, but odd to have life be slowed as much.

At work, I have taken on a graduate student as an intern for the summer months. I can't wait to share more about my experience as a supervisor in the coming posts. It has thus far been a very exciting journey.

I've learned a LOT more about the field in the last year, and I hope to share my knowledge with you.

Take care, and Happy Monday!
Monday, April 2, 2012

postheadericon A triumphant return??

It has been quite in the world of Speechie Speaking for a while now! I have been quite busy with work and home/personal commitments, so unfortunately the blog had to sit quietly ignored for a while. I will be getting back into the routine ASAP! I have several videos to post within the next few days for visual aids. I hope everyone has well, and I hope you will continue to watch what is to come for Speechie Speaking.
Sunday, January 8, 2012

postheadericon I've been on a break! :) But for a good reason...

Hello readers!! I have been MIA from the blog scene for the past few weeks, but I do have a good excuse. I got engaged! My fiance surprised me with a wonderful Christmas proposal -- complete with "snow" inside our home. :) Check out the video I put together from his camera footage: No, this really has *nothing* to do with speech therapy, but it is still exciting. I will be getting back into the groove soon :) Take care all!
Friday, December 16, 2011

postheadericon Holiday Vacation!

Welp, I'm on holiday vacation! Technically I have a meeting in the AM, THEN I'm on vacation... but I'll count it now. I have some big plans for SpeechieSpeaking over the coming days. I want to do a redesign of the layout. I've gotten some great constructive criticism from Facebook friends (thank you!) and noticed some issues with viewing on Safari/iPad. Also have taken several pictures and gathered some information on topics I would like to cover. I know everyone will likely be busy in the coming two weeks enjoying family time, but at least for a bit of the time you might want some extra things to procrastinate with ;) Off to bed to prep for the AM meeting!