Essay on Augmented Communication Devices

1911 Words8 Pages
Augmented Communication Devices

Verbal communication is the prime factor that distinguishes from all other species. It is our innate ability to verbalize with the world who we are and where we stand in society. Unfortunately verbal communication is extremely difficult for those people with disabilities, specifically those that suffer with speech production. With continual advances in augmentative technology, highly specialized communication devices make it possible for disabled people to carry a "voice" within the community. This recently new form of technology allows disabled students to enter a mainstream program with the benefits of interacting with peers as well as teachers. But what will happen to those verbally
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The Dynavox as well as the other communication devices have aided in providing disabled people with communication tools used in everyday situations. Tracy Rackensperger is a woman in her 20's suffering with cerebral palsy however, her disability has never hindered her from continuing her education. Rackensperger was trained to use communication devices from a young age, and in fourth grade she entered a mainstream schoolingprogram. She comments on the speech device by pointing out its advantages,"First, it allowed me to communicate with people who could not understandmy speech very well. Second, because the board was organized by wordclass, it aided my learning in English" (Rackensperger,2). Rackenspergeralso points out that her "family has always been supportive of augmentativecommunication, and so was the school system." Currently, Rackenspergeris involved in a self-advocacy movement for individuals with disabilities.As she spreads her words of motivation and wisdom, she uses augmentativecommunication to "interact with teachers, classmates, employers, coworkers,strangers and friends" (Rackensperger,2). Rackensperger's experiencewith speech devices has permitted her to obtain a bachelor's degree in radio-televisionat the University of Central Florida, she also has plans to go to graduateschool.

Dynamyte has also made a positive impact on the life of Mattew James Dotts, a six
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