Friday, May 10, 2013

Gerald Thrives With A Dynavox Communication Device

This blog post came to us in an email from Meagan Rountree, who at the time was an Instructor in Gerald’s CORE/Labor Source Creative Writing class. Here is some background information Meagan sent us, and below that, in italics and bold, is Gerald’s article.

“Recently, Gerald presented a Mission Moment at the Assistive Technology Partners which talked about his use of his Dynavox communication device and how he has benefited from having it. It shows a lot about his journey, his challenges and his success. Gerald was responsible primarily in creating and typing this story. He gave me messages in his device to steer me in the direction he wanted to go. I would help him word things and he would agree or disagree with my suggestions. I then hand-wrote our final draft on a piece of paper which Gerald then copied on the computer using his device keyboard which is interfaced to the computer.

Having my device has improved my life in many ways. My device helps count inventory at my job so I can be a functional member of the team. It gives me opportunity to express myself to my staff friends and members of the community and learn about others which helps me build relationships. I love to tell people about myself and my wife using my device sometimes I struggle with my device because it only contains pre programmed messages. Sometimes there is something I want to say but don’t have a message that expresses it in my device at this I either find another message to express it or reller (rely) on verbal speech which represents its own challenges and requires patience and problem solving on behalf of the person I’m talking with. Overall, the benefits of having my device outweigh the limitations and challenges it can present.

These photos of Gerald were taken a few months ago
at a CORE/Labor Source Creative Writing class.

Gerald uses a finger switch to type.

This is Gerald's typing station, which is set up so he can type what is written above.

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