Tag Archive: advocacy

Video of the Week: Supporting People with Significant Communication Challenges in Medical Encounters

December 7, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

Video of the Week: Supporting People with Significant Communication Challenges in Medical Encounters

Encounters with healthcare providers can range from the mundane (e.g., getting a prescription filled) and routine (e.g., doctor’s appointment) to situations which are more complicated and urgent (e.g., Emergency Room visit, hospital stay). People who use AAC are part of a larger group of individuals whose communication challenges make these situations more complex. In today’s featured video, Dr. David Beukelman discusses ways in which effective communication between patients with communication challenges and their healthcare providers can be supported.   This video was part of the USSAAC webinar series, which is made possible through the support of ISAAC. Many thanks to those organizations and the Patient Provider Communication organization whose free resources and information are shared in the presentation. Please consider joining and supporting these organizations so that they can continue to serve the AAC community with information, advocacy, and resources like these. Direct Link to Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uxd-hWODfm8

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Taking AACtion

December 4, 2014 by - 1 Comment

Taking AACtion

Communication is a birthright. No agency or person should be permitted to restrict someone’s access to expression or dictate how communication should occur. Computerized functions for creating messages, emails, and texts are literally lifesaving for people like Mike. Please lend your support by telling CMS how important these things are before Saturday, December 6. You can learn more about the issues from our previous post and visit the public comment section to add your voice here. Thanks to Michael Phillips and the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology for this helpful video.  

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Call for Action: Public Comments on AAC Device Funding

December 2, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Call for Action: Public Comments on AAC Device Funding

Chances are that most of our US-based SLPs have heard about the funding challenges with Medicare. We now have only a few more days to make our voices heard to support clients with AAC needs. If you haven’t already submitted public comment, please take the time to help in these advocacy efforts. Medicare (CMS) currently is reconsidering its National Coverage Decision (NCD) for Speech Generating Devices (SGDs).  As part of that process, CMS will allow interested members of the public to submit comments about future Medicare SGD coverage until December 6, 2014.  The information that follows was prepared by the Medicare Implementation Team, an ad hoc group of AAC clinicians, researchers, advocates, educators, manufacturers, etc., many of whom worked on the 2001 NCD. FOLLOW THESE 5 SIMPLE STEPS TO SUBMIT A COMMENT TO CMS. 1. Review the 8 PROPOSED COMMENT AREAS below that are critical to include in a revised NCD for... [Read More...]

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Watch It Wednesday: Freed by Technology, Thwarted by Policy

November 12, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Watch It Wednesday: Freed by Technology, Thwarted by Policy

Tony and his team talk about the ways in which AAC makes living a full life possible, and the disastrous consequences of the Medicare policy implementation that restricts SGD features, among other things. The policy is on hold for now, and we have an opportunity for public comment. Take a look. Then take action. You can add your voice to the advocacy effort here. Public comments are open until December 6th.  

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Calling All PrAACtical Advocates

August 26, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Calling All PrAACtical Advocates

US Colleagues: It’s not too late! We still need your help to tell Congress and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, to stop denying our most vulnerable disabled people their ability to communicate! The initial advocacy effort was effective in delaying the start date for implementation of the proposed changes but more needs to be done.  New to these issues? Check out the post by Bill Binko here. Basically, Medicare has announced several changes to its speech generating device coverage policies that will be devastating to people with complex communication needs.  To protect our clients, we believe the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the most senior official responsible for Medicare policy, must be made aware of the harmful effects of these changes and must be asked to reverse them.  We must speak up now to ensure our clients also will be able to. You can call Medicare directly to... [Read More...]

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Strategy of the Month: A PrAACtical Resource – Communication Access

July 14, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Strategy of the Month: A PrAACtical Resource - Communication Access

There are some organizations and projects that just amaze us with the work that they do. Today, we are looking at one of those, Communication Disabilities Access Canada, led by Barbara Collier. They have a wonderful array of resources that address important topics related to safety, self-determination, advocacy, and more. Here are two of our favorites. Communication Boards Making and Using Communication Access Cards You can follow them on Facebook, too.  

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Video of the Week: The Right to Be Heard

July 13, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Video of the Week: The Right to Be Heard

“People with disabilities are exposed to abuse at least four times more than the general population.” For this week’s featured video, we travel to Israel to learn about an initiative with the justice system that promotes the right of individuals with AAC needs to communicate in legal contexts. Kudos to ISAAC Israel and the many other organizations and individuals for their work on this important topic. Direct Link to Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bgmli_aElYY&index=149&list=PLSDejtWRUZQqCqWogs1ME9Z1dXfxwvrrY  

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Avoiding Insanity: AAC & the Pace of Change

October 4, 2012 by - 24 Comments

Avoiding Insanity: AAC & the Pace of Change

Although the field of AAC emerged only in the last few decades, the notion of communicating in alternative ways is centuries old.  In classical times, the use of manual communication by deaf individuals was referred to by Plato and documented in Europe during the Middle Ages.  In North America, American Indian Hand Talk evolved over generations to allow cross-cultural communication between speakers of diverse languages. As a clinical/educational field, AAC has been described as evolving through a “bottom-up” mechanism. Individuals with congenital conditions that prevented the development of intelligible speech invented their own communication systems long before teachers, therapists, and clinicians formalized instruction in alternative modes of expression.  AAC users growing up in the forties and fifties tell of communicating through grunts, vocalizations, “air writing,” and eye movements, which, though effective in some contexts, were maddening in their limitations. Individuals who were fortunate enough to have access to habilitative and... [Read More...]

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