Access First! A Communication Success StoryBy King-DeBaun, Pati; Closing the Gap, Vol. 6, No. 6
Publication Date: February/March 2008
Case study of a high-technology communication program for a child with severe physical and communication impairments. As background, an NIH-funded study is cited, showing that the device a child uses to communicate can affect perceptions about augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and influence attitudes toward a child’s potential. Eight-year-old Emily was described at the onset of the study as passive in her classroom environment, with her teachers deeming her incapable of communicating. Her therapist introduced a Step-by-Step communicator which she programmed with directional phrases for controlling Emily’s wheelchair; subsequently, she was able to engage her classmates in pushing her around the playground. Emily’s progress is traced as she is integrated into her learning environment with the help of her low-tech communicator, which eventually becomes too limiting, and her AAC team is able to obtain a tango! speech-generating device. The tango! was seen as a device for Emily that, being simple to use and motivating communication, also would engage and motivate her classmates and teachers. Moreover, it is a device that will grow with her as she gains greater skills.
Assistive Products Discussed: STEP-BY-STEP COMMUNICATOR 75 WITH LEVELS
Published by: Closing the Gap, Inc. (Website:http://www.closingthegap.com)