PrAACtical News: AAC Disaster Relief
As we all know, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria left many people without basic services, and people who use AAC are among the most vulnerable. Please review this important information about efforts underway to address their no tech, low tech, and high tech AAC needs.
You can help by donating time, expertise, AAC-related equipment that is in good working order, and/or funds to purchase replacements. If you are considering a donation of used AAC-related equipment, please see this important information from the Pass It On Center.
Another way you can help is by spreading the word about these sites and helping us reach people in need.
People with severe disabilities who are unable to speak are among the hardest hit by disasters like Hurricane Harvey and more recently, Hurricanes Irma and Maria. They get separated from their helpers, lose access to their speech generating devices and their low-tech tools, get their batteries destroyed, get relocated to places where helpers are clueless about communicating with them, etc. Fortunately, a national organization devoted to the support of such people has stepped up with a unique approach to connecting these people with resources and experts who can provide immediate help and support.
Recovers.org is a web portal that enables people in need during disasters to make specific requests for support, lets people who want to help describe the skills they can bring to bear, and allows people who want to contribute money and resources to do so with a single click on their computers. The site has been used successfully for past hurricanes like Sandy, for tornadoes like the one that hit Moore, Oklahoma, and for countless other incidents. Now it is being put to work by the United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (USSAAC) to help people who are too often the hardest to reach and the last to get help.
Immediate help is available for people with communication disabilities impacted by the hurricanes. People who need help, people who want to help them, and those who want to contribute matching funds to this effort can go to https://harveyaac.recovers.org for Harvey recovery and https://aacdisasterrelief.recovers.org for recovery from Irma, Maria, and all other natural disasters.
The United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (USSAAC) has set up two targeted Recovers.org websites that enables people with disabilities who can’t use their natural speech and rely on other ways to communicate to make requests for specific help to connect to people who are able to help them. USSAAC has received a ten thousand dollar matching grant to support these efforts and is seeking additional donations.
USSAAC is an all-volunteer organization which is devoting 100% of funds that are contributed to recovery efforts. You can find out more about their activities here.
This post was written by Carole Zangari