AAC tools are truly wonderful because they transform the lives of millions. They have given a voice to the voiceless and helped those for whom talking and even breathing unassisted have become challenging, or even impossible. With AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) devices it’s possible for people who will never talk with their own voice to communicate and be understood by the world around them.
At present, there are roughly 2 million people worldwide with profound expressive language impairments using AAC devices every day. For sufferers of a range of conditions including ALS/ Motor Neurons Disease, cerebral palsy, Rett Syndrome or spinal trauma an AAC device gives them the ability to communicate freely and autonomously. It’s hard to imagine a world without one. For generations who never got to hear Stephen Hawking’s actual speaking voice, the great astrophysicist’s voice will forever be remembered as the one afforded to him by his AAC system.
Yet, while this wonderful technology is transformative to millions of people, those who live with them (and their carers) know that they have their caveats.
A downside of living with an AAC device
The extent to which AAC device users depend on them may be difficult to understand by a person who has full control over their voice and speech. Imagine if your voice box was something that was outside of you, and every time you needed to talk to anyone, you had to have it with you. Not only did you need to have it with you, but you also needed it to be somewhere stable where you could access it easily, despite your profound mobility issues.
It’s a quandary that occupational therapists and speech and language pathologists know only too well. AAC devices need to be readily available 24/7 in ways that facilitate ease of use for users with complex needs.
No chain is stronger than its weakest link and even the best AAC device is rendered useless without the proper mounting, holding it available at the right spot.
Mounting helps users manage
The right mounting apparatus can help to make an AAC device easily accessible wherever the user goes. It ensures that users can get the proper positioning to allow it to work. AAC devices use a range of interfaces to allow users to communicate and correct ergonomic positioning is extremely important in allowing users to operate them effectively without experiencing pain, strain or fatigue.
Unless mounts provide users and their support professionals with ease of access, there’s a risk that the device will not be used and this can have profoundly negative implications for the user. It can make them feel more withdrawn and erode their links to those closest to them as well as exacerbating the inherent frustrations of their conditions.
What’s more, a mount must be strong and stable. Every AAC device represents a great deal of investment, not just in monetary terms but in terms of the hundreds of hours spent setting up, training and learning for users, providers and carers. Without robust yet flexible mounting, users can live with the constant worry that their AAC device could be dropped or damaged.
Fortunately, there is a wide range of mounts available for every occasion. Everywhere an AAC user is likely to be, whatever they’re likely to do, there’s a mount to help them communicate while they do it. Of course, wheelchair mounts are hugely important but there are also mounts for positioning on floors, beds, tables, chairs, baths and anywhere else where this crucial assistive technology might be used.
By allowing the use of the AAC device to be comfortable, accessible and seamless, the user enjoys a greater quality of life and freedom of expression.
Place your trust in us
We specialize in delivering the highest quality mounting solutions for people with disabilities and those who they rely on for their care. Our solutions are intended to provide ease of use for both parties so that fumbling, dropping, stress, and frustration are reduced and that clear, reciprocal communication is made effortless.
Of course, we are also always on hand to answer any questions you might have about which mounts are best suited to different AAC devices and different user needs. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about our mounts.