Assistive Technology for Communication
Most patients with ALS experience difficulty with speech and movement during the course of their illness. Some PALS (persons with ALS) will completely lose their ability to speak and to use their hands. The inability to speak is frustrating and emotionally devastating. Assistive technology can help an ALS patient communicate so they can be an active participant in their family and community life, become more independent, and make medical decisions. There are many different electronic communication devices on the market. Some devices just speak for the person and some are desktop or laptop computer that not only speak for the person but also allow the user to have full access to computer functions. The easiest way to describe a communication device is that the user types on a traditional keyboard and a computer-synthesized voice repeats everything the user types into the device.
North Carolinians with augmentative communication needs should contact their ALS Clinic speech pathologist.