Argumentative and Alternative Communication


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Individuals with severe speech or language problems use augmentative and alternative communication to supplement or replace speech. It includes a pattern of communication other than oral communication used to express thoughts, needs, and desires. Some augmentative aids that individuals use are picture and communication boards and electronic devices. This helps them increase social interaction, school performance, and self-worth.
The International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) and RESNA are organizations that aid individuals with technology needs to help enhance their communication. The ISAAC organization's purpose is to help improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from complex communication needs. Its mission is to promote the best possible communication needs to people who suffer severe communication problems. Its goal is to provide worldwide awareness about how AAC aides help individuals without speech. It’s a non-governmental organization which was formed during the year of 1983. Its members consist of individuals who use AAC, their families, and other people like doctors, therapists, researchers, and organizations that make communication aids. The second organization which is RESNA stands for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North Atlantic. This organization's mission is to maximize the health and welfare of people with disabilities through technology. It is a non-profitable organization that was developed by engineers and students attending the Inter-Agency Conference on Rehabilitation Engineering. It was formed on August 1979 and it is dedicated to those involved in rehabilitation engineering. This organization helps design and develop technological solutions to problems encountered by people who have disabilities in functional areas like mobility, communication, hearing, vision, and cognition. These inventions help them live independently and integrate into society.
Two websites where you can purchase products for assistive communication technology are http://www.speechgeneratingdevices.com and http://www.dynavoxtech.com/products. The DynaVox Maestro was created for people who are unable to express their needs and opinions using speech, gestures, or body language. Its aim is to provide better communication as well as to help enhance language and literacy development and function. Another, product that aids in communication is the DynaVox Eyemax. The purpose of this product is to help individuals who can’t use touch or switching scanning communicate their needs through eye movement. It also helps individuals in the ALS, Parkinson’s, and MS populations. The ChatPC-4 product was designed to help individuals who mainly use symbols for communication. This product strengthens vocabulary and spelling by using symbols and pictures, and it displays synthesized and digitized speech output.

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Though, the prices were not displayed for any of these products they look pretty expensive to me.
In my opinion I believe that people who devote their lives to finding different ways of communication are admirable because thanks to them people who cannot use their speech to communicate with others are able to communicate their needs through these ways. Without organizations who help AAC users there would be people who would not be able and communicate their needs which would make it a lot harder for individuals to understand them. Without these organizations people would not be aware of other communication methods. I think that these organizations are very beneficial to AAC users because they help families be more aware of how they can help out their loved ones. I think that the devices that are developed to make communication easier are fascinating because it makes communication a lot easier for the individual. They don’t have to go through much struggles to communicate their wants or thoughts they can communicate them just as simple as to an eye blink. A question that I have is if the organizations help with the purchase of the products needed for AAC users or if they have to buy them on their own.



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