Everyone communicates differently. One of the most fascinating theories about the way we communicate suggests that only 7% of communication is verbal. 55% is body language, and 38% is based on the tone of the voice we use. It’s clear then that the art of communication isn’t quite as simple as it seems in society.
This can lead to issues when people communicate in ways that society wouldn’t expect or have difficulties communicating in what is considered to be an atypical way.
There are over 7.5 million people in the US alone who have difficulty with speech. This includes individuals diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Rett Syndrome, ALS, and Spinal Cord Injuries. People with this type of diagnosis may struggle with communicating through body language as well, but now technology is bridging the gap and helping improve everyday interactions for individuals with speech and mobility impairments.
Today, AAC usually refers to devices like tablets and touch screens that often include a voice output system. They can be hugely varied and provide a tremendous range of benefits. Individuals who use these devices find that they can communicate more effectively and without assistance from carers, family members or professionals.
Instead, it allows them to interact on their own terms and engage with more people in different settings and environments. For children, AAC devices even help ensure that learning can be more interactive.
Make your voice heard wherever, and whenever
It can’t be overemphasized how useful these devices are for general daily activities. Everyone needs unimpeded communication 24/7, and with these devices, that’s made possible. People should always have a voice within reach. Using AAC, individuals with conditions that impact their speech or ability to communicate socially can converse without assistance. They can take more control over their lives and regain confidence that may have been lost due to a diagnosis.
Getting the most from your AAC device
You need to make sure you get the most benefits from these devices, as their impact can be genuinely life-changing. This is all about ensuring it is in reach for the individual and positioned correctly at any given time, typically with a proper mounting system.
A device like this will mean countless button presses and screen activations over the day. Regardless of whether it uses touch screen control, switch scanning or eye gaze control, correct positioning is crucial for the system to work effectively. It needs to provide the optimum level of ergonomic positioning to avoid fatigue and support the highest rate of communication speed. The right position can also ensure that issues with posture can be prevented. That’s not just about comfort. Optimal mounting will ensure that the user is gaining the best quality of life and reducing further medical issues such as increased pain.
They can even help improve levels of inclusion. Devices that look bulky and overwhelming can be stigmatizing. A quality device that looks high concept and is fitted correctly can benefit the user’s perception of themselves and the perception of other people. They see them as an individual with more self-determination.
It’s important to be aware of the investment level for these devices too. The products are costly and resource intense, requiring hundreds of hours of consultancy, programming, and learning. They will also mean a great deal to the user. If it gets damaged, misplaced or forgotten, it can be devastating. With a communication mount, the device is secure and will always be exactly where an individual needs it, with no worry of it not being available due to repair or replacement.
Providing A New Level of Independence
Regardless of demographic, or individual traits, we all want our independence. The ability to do things without the assistance of others is a freedom that everyone should experience, and Assistive Technology devices can help. Fitted correctly and mounted securely, these devices can provide people with speech or mobility impairments a new level of interaction and engagement. Communication becomes easier, less stressful and daily life can be significantly improved. All it takes is for these devices to be set up the right way with a suitable mount and differences in interaction and independence can be absolutely incredible.
Ultimately everyone will benefit from these devices. Carers and individuals with disabilities will find that used the right way the complexities in life, both big and small are reduced. An ergonomic design removes the burdens and enables you and your loved one to lead a far more rewarding life.