We all have different towns and we all have different things that we do in the course of the day. It may be that the student is a great artist or a great writer. When it comes to assistive technology we have to think about what is going to give that student the ability to do what they love without having to see roadblocks and go, "I can't do that”. There are so many tools out there, whether it's a communication app, a video app, a math tool. With assistive technology you are not making the student into what you want them to be.
When you use alternate means of communication it can be really frustrating to go out in community. It is hard to know whether people are understanding you and whether they will take the time to listen. A lot of times it's hard for people to admit that they're not always comfortable with a device or a wheelchair or person who does things differently. So the more we can expose and educate people the better off we all will be. When we talk about acceptance, we're not just talking about people in society accepting people with disabilities. We're also talking about people with disabilities who are using alternate means of communication and how difficult it is for them to be out in the community.
It's really essential to understand how brain function works to really tap into how learners learn.
Many of our products today have accessibility supports in them to the extent where we don't have to purchase anything else. It's already in there. Your phone, your tablet, your smart home devices. If you're going to look for these features on your devices, you can start in your settings. There should be something in there that says accessibility. Go in there, see what's available. The manufacturers have done a really nice job of describing these features right within the settings to give you a sense of what they're going to do.
Let me tell you about multimodal communication. We, as typical communicators, all use many different strategies. We use speech, gestures, facial expressions, technology, and no-tech solutions. As communicators, we all size up the situation based upon our communication partners, the context, the environment and then we choose to use the most effective communication strategy.
A speech language pathologist is someone who is trained in working with kids and adults. Everything from working with articulation errors and correcting things to what I do, which is working with people with profound physical impairments and getting them augmentative communication strategies.
When a person is looking for a way to communicate in alternative ways, they need to find something that really works for them. They need to try to find a voice that sounds natural. They want to try to find a way to be efficient. They want to be able to communicate as normally as possible, even though they're not using their biological voice.
The future of science advancements is endless. In this video Dr. Ted Conway discusses the possibility of thought to speech. One of the really interesting areas of research in biomedical engineering is thought to speech. The concept of thought to speech is fairly straightforward, the execution to make this a reality is a little more complicated.