I think we all feel like the world is moving so fast these days and that if you blink you’ll miss something! But on the up side, it makes for an exciting time in the area of assistive technology and communication aids.
We, Regional Communication Services, are constantly keeping up with the latest gadgets and upgrades, so that we can provide best practice to the people with complex communication needs that we support, and to other speech pathologists and professionals in our regions – and of course our Communication Coordinator Networks!
Speech pathologists from the Regional Communication Services run a number of these networks across Victoria to provide training and consultation to adult day services. This helps the day service nurture a ‘culture of communication’ within their service, where all staff are equipped with specialised skills to support people with complex communication needs.
We provide regular training to these networks on a wide variety of interesting topics, and recently the North West Metro Communication Coordinator Network were lucky enough to have Karyn Muscat come out from Zyteq to show us the latest in their assistive technologies!
We only had a day to get through a lot of info so Karyn quickly got us up to speed with some of the latest devices. Some real standouts were;
It was such a great day and went all too fast. Everyone agreed that the absolute highlight of the day was the eye-gaze technology! Karyn introduced us to the Tellus 4 Intelligaze, which is a speech generating device that you can access through eye-gaze control.
We’d all heard about eye-gaze technology before, but few of us had actually had the chance to see it up close and personal. Karyn gave us all a chance to test out the eye-gaze calibration methods. We started with some experimental and errorless play activities to get comfortable with the technology and how it actually works. We were instantly hooked and it was so exciting to see how far this technology has come!
It was fantastic to get the opportunity to test out some of the latest in assistive technologies. We all came away inspired, and with lots of great ideas about how we can best use these emerging technologies to open up new worlds for the people we support. But watch this space, because there’s always more exciting assistive technologies coming!
If you’d like more information about Zyteq and their latest assistive technologies just head to http://www.zyteq.com.au/.
If you’d like more information about Communication Coordinator Networks within your region contact your local Regional Communication Service.
By Julie Kenny.