Tuesday, November 03, 2009

NSSLHA Meeting November 3rd, 2009

Speaker: Adam Weiss from Zygo Industries
- his company produces voice output systems, alternative access, environmental control system
- AAC = augmentative alternative communication
- Why do you need voice output?
- Must prove that it is medically necessary to provide a voice output device
- SLP is the one who has to recommend a product for their client, need to document the need for it and choose which device or devices are necessary
- Provided handout about various devices and contact information
- Communication device can provide voice output through digital or synthezed speech.
- Macaw: digital recording device, vocabulary is recorded speech and use overlay to represent vocabulary that is stored on the machines. Symbols can be pictures, letters, graphics, words. Press on a cell and get recorded message that speaks out. Most of the overlays are pictures with text prompts. Can start off with overlay being just message, then increase the number of symbols until client can use many symbols on one overlay. All of the overlays don’t have to be the same layout (i.e. the same number of symbols). Macaw can sequence/combine two symbols to create additional messages. Can sequence up to 80 characters in a row.
- Windows XP tablet computer: dynamic display device. Make choices by touching the screen. Has a 22 GB hard-drive. Can fit more voice recordings and pictures on this device than the Macaw. Don’t have to physically change the overlay. It is cognitively more difficult than the Macaw and may not be appropriate for people who have cognitive impairments. Can plug in a tracking mouse or eye-gaze system if client can’t physically touch icons on the screen.
- PECS: can take pecs symbol and place it on the macaw overlay symbol that it matches and it makes the Macaw do voice output.
- can record various languages on the Macaw. Can use a single overlay but record two different languages for each symbol.
- Pollyanna (text to speech): person is cognitively intact but cannot be understood. Uses deck talk to transfer typed text into voice output. Had word prediction for word you are typing and for the proceeding word. ‘
- Medicare will pay for a dedicated communication device- means that all it is used for is the communication that the SLP recommends.