Tag Archive: Emergency

When Disaster Strikes: USSAAC’s Response to Families with AAC Needs

December 9, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts

When Disaster Strikes: USSAAC's Response to Families with AAC Needs

I’m honored to have AAC pioneer Dr. Sarah Blackstone join us today for a guest post that highlights the work that is being done by the US chapter of the International AAC Society (ISAAC). The US chapter, known as USSAAC, has a long-standing commitment to supporting the AAC community in times of national disaster. Dr. Blackstone is both a past president of ISAAC and a founding member of USSAAC. She has authored many AAC-related texts and articles and is a partner emerita of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Communication Enhancement. She has served the AAC community with distinction, having been granted honors and awards by ASHA, ISAAC, USSAAC, and other organizations. Dr. Blackstone previously practiced at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, and in a private practice that serving children with AAC needs. Currently, Dr. Blackstone is on USSAAC’s Board of Directors. She and Harvey Pressman co-chair USSAAC’s AAC Disaster... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: AAC 101 for First Responders

November 22, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts

Video of the Week: AAC 101 for First Responders

There is no doubt that people with AAC needs are incredibly vulnerable in emergency and crime-related situations. In today’s featured video, SLPs Sarah Mankey and Mariesa Rang discuss ways they address this issue proactively and provided free training to firefighters and law enforcement officers in their community. In addition to introducing them to basic concepts in AAC, first responders learned how to communicate with people who use AAC and worked through real-life scenarios. Kudos to these professionals for this important work and to USSAAC and ISAAC for making this video available.   Direct Link to Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wuZGcyt-EY

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A PrAACtical Tool for Emergencies and Accidents

August 8, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

A PrAACtical Tool for Emergencies and Accidents

Jonah fell off the monkey bars in his after school program and broke his wrist. Just another childhood experience unless you are nonverbal. Melinda had a significant seizure on a public bus. It’s great that she is independent, but what happens when no one who knows her can communicate with the ambulance staff? Accidents, injuries, and emergencies are part of everyday life. We don’t plan on them. We think they will never happen. Or, we don’t think about them at all. We’re just too busy. Until today. Let’s make this the day that we sit down and take the time to provide a safeguard for our clients. Widget Health’s Accident and Emergency Passport will help others know how to assist people with communication difficulties.    

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5 Communication Apps to Consider for People with Aphasia

October 23, 2012 by - 2 Comments

5 Communication Apps to Consider for People with Aphasia

It’s hard for most of us to imagine the experience of having had language all your life and suddenly losing it. Here are some ideas for apps that may be useful in your therapy with people with aphasia. Scene and Heard from tBox Apps and Scene Speak from Good Karma Apps:  We’d love to see more people with significant language deficits use visual scene displays to communicate. Lingraphica’s Small Talk Series and their TalkPath apps: Worth exploring these apps as they were designed expressly for this clinical population. Tactus Language TherAPPy apps: Looking for apps that will help your patient develop and practice language and writing skills? Tactus has several to explore. Pictello from AssistiveWare: There is great power in storytelling and one of the things missed most by people with acquired communication disorders is their ability to connect with friends and family. This app has great potential for sharing... [Read More...]

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Before It’s Too Late: A PrAACtical Resource for Emergency Situations

June 25, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Before It’s Too Late: A PrAACtical Resource for Emergency Situations

We’re in the first month of hurricane season and preparedness is very much on our minds. With that in mind, we thought it was a good idea to share a link to this important resource. The Royal Berkshire NHS Trust funded the development of this Communication Passport which is disseminated via the Widgit Symbol website. – This Communication Passport is designed to give important information about a person who uses AAC to healthcare professionals and first responders in case of accident or emergency. It uses a stoplight metaphor to guide the partner through important information, such as emergency contacts, health conditions, medications, how the person takes their medication, how to communicate with the person, and more. – Even those who are always accompanied by a familiar adult, such as a child, could benefit from this tool. In an emergency situation, there is often confusion and having all the key information... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Resources: Communication Boards for Downloading

April 13, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Resources: Communication Boards for Downloading

  If you’re like us, you’re always happy to find sites where AAC materials can be downloaded, preferably for free. Bookmark those sites because they are huge time savers. If you’re trying to build your own professional resource library, check out this site for boards designed for people to communicate about healthcare, employment, sexuality, transportation, and other topics.  Several of the communication boards are also available in Spanish (like the example shown here) and Haitian Creole.   Kudos to the fine work done by the AAC-RERC and the Temple University Institute on Disabilities. –    

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Emergencies and Resources to Help

March 19, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Emergencies and Resources to Help

It has been a really long weekend.  A very close relative had a significant medical emergency this week.  The emergency involved intubation, an air ambulance (that is helicopter), and many many procedures.   With the intubation, there was a temporary loss of speech which made communication difficult to say the least.  This was a time that the patient (my relative) needed communication most, yet there were multiple barriers to effective communication (no speech sounds, tubes in the mouth obscuring lip movement, noise, etc..).  Although the hospital staff was amazingly wonderful, communication was not their priority.  Lucky, for us, I just happened to have some AAC apps on my iPhone.  At one point, the AAC app was literally a lifesaver (thanks so much to Verbally for providing  an easy way to communicate complex questions, reminders, and comments). As I was waiting around for many hours, texting Carole, we started thinking about... [Read More...]

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