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Augmentative and assistive communication (AAC) devices

Augmentative and assistive communication (AAC) devices include computers, 'speech generating' devices and telephone typewriter (TTY).

MND NSW 2007

  • Lightwriter - a keyboard device with voice output and a screen that shows typed messages. A Polyana is a similar device to a Lightwriter, with the inclusion of a scanner.
  • Message Mate – enables pre-recorded messages to be placed under picture keys.
  • Computers
  • Switches and scanners
  • If hands are too weak to manipulate special keyboards or a mouse computers can be maintained by special switches and scanners. Switches can be operated by small movements of those muscles that are still functional. These may include eyebrow, eye blink or sip and puff switches.
  • Voice amplification - is only appropriate for people with MND when speech is not slurred, that is, when speech volume only is affected. It is important to discuss voice amplification with your speech pathologist before purchasing an aid.
  • Specialised services - In some areas there may be specialised services that can provide home assessment of communication, computer and environmental control needs by an occupational therapist and speech pathologist. There may also be services provided by volunteers to help people who need special, small customised aids. They may have also a computer loan service.

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