The ability to communicate with others, control your environment, and actively participate in events and conversations is a vital part of everyday life. When these abilities are lost through illness or injury, quality of life can be severely diminished.
Many individuals with disabilities are able to communicate and access their environment with assistive devices. Memorial Health Outpatient Rehab’s assistive technology program is for those with physical, cognitive, and/or communication impairments. It is designed to increase independence and improve quality of life through the use of augmented communication, computer access, and environmental controls.
Pediatric Assistive Technology
We also offer this program at the Memorial Health Dwaine & Cynthia Willett Children's Hospital of Savannah for children who have difficulty activating devices or communicating. It is especially beneficial to children with cerebral palsy, communication impairment, head injuries, autism, or spinal cord injuries.
The assistive technology team consists of licensed speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists who specialize in helping people communicate. The team provides comprehensive evaluations and assessments, training, education, and equipment recommendations in these areas:
- Augmentative Communication: A speech pathologist evaluates cognitive, linguistic, and speech abilities. The team assesses the feasibility of using communication systems and provides training for specific devices to meet the person's current and future communication needs. Some techniques include creating different ways to communicate, positioning pictures or using a talking computer.
- Environmental Controls: An occupational therapist evaluates and assesses a person's abilities and environmental limitations. The therapist then recommends assistive technology to meet the person's lifestyle needs. This may include the use of switches that assist in play and can activate lights, televisions, and telephones.
- Computer Access: The assistive technology team evaluates and assesses a person's goal, such as returning to work or school. The team also looks at the person's physical, communication, and cognitive skills. After analyzing all of the data, the team determines the most appropriate means of computer access and equipment, including switch devices, special keyboards and assistive software.
Assistive Technology Equipment
Memorial Health Outpatient Rehab’s assistive technology program has a wide range of both low- and high-tech devices, computer equipment, and software, including:
- Picture-based communication boards and software
- Text-to-speech software programs
- Devices and computers with speech synthesizers for voice output and voice recognition
- Switches, mounting devices, head mouse devices, and mouth stick controls
- Infrared and environmental control units