Dale’s Story – Augmentative & Alternative Communication

Dale has Athetoid Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, which causes him to have difficulties in getting out of bed and to freely express his thoughts and feelings. Assistive technology (AT) has played a big role in helping Dale to manage his day-to-day activities significantly. AT has assisted Dale in sitting up, accessing the community and go to the places he wants to go. Most importantly, with the aid of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices, Dale is able to share his thinking and express his feelings.

Don't let disability stop you from doing the things you love!

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Dale goes to a drama group that enables people with disabilities to express themselves and learn acting techniques. They even develop their own scripts for their play and sometimes perform in community events! Dale also enjoys going to the library and he often meets other people and his friends there. AAC devices have opened so many opportunities for Dale and has helped him gain independence over the years. In addition to that, Dale is preparing to move out independently and his family members are confident that he can look after himself with the help of assistive technology.

What devices does Dale uses to communicate his thoughts and needs?

AAC has enabled Dale to express his feelings, emotions and needs.

Dale uses a speech generating device that comes with a Minspeak language on it, prescribed by a speech pathologist after an augmentative & alternative communication assessment. This feature makes it quicker and faster for him to produce sentences than it does if we were typing with text or word prediction. Dale uses a switch at his knee to access the AAC device. It is easier and more accurate for him to control the device using his knee as compared to his hands. Dale’s AAC device has a scanning program that scans quadrants. He would get to the quadrant he wants and then goes and gets the row and the item on the row he wants. Dale’s speech generating device has improved his life as he is able to express his feelings, communicate his needs and show his personality.

Getting out more and meeting people my age and older means I enjoy my life.

Dale Gonelli

Watch Dale’s story HERE.

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