Communication is a vital element to an individual’s sense of well-being. Just imagine not being able to articulate your needs or desires. Approximately ninety per cent of those we serve have moderate to severe communication disorders, so one of the core areas of learning we offer involves communication. To cover the range of communication assistance available, we offer several classes that include the use of speech generating devices, as well as the use of computers which provide many avenues of communication.
Participants at the CP Center with little or no speech are given a voice by the use of Speech Generating Devises (SGD). These electronic devices are operated either by a keyboard or a reflective dot placed on the forehead of the device users. Each individual who needs a device for speech is assessed through an outside agency for the appropriate type that works best for their particular disability. Having a device does not necessarily mean that a person knows how to use them, so classes are provided that help participants not only learn how to use the device, but also guide them in using the device in public settings and how to save certain commonly used communication strands.
Augmentative Communication Skills
This basic device class teaches SGD users how to communicate with the use of their computerized speech generating device. Time is spent on how to use the keyboard or eye-gaze technology to spell words and form sentences, and to capture and access frequently used words and phrases.
A more advanced class for SGD users, this class provides thematic group instruction that develops individual expressive and interactive communication. It is designed to enhance social and independent living skills through the ability to communicate.
Computer Learning Center
The computer lab at the Cerebral Palsy Center is one of the first in the country to be offered at a day program serving adults with disabilities. Our state-of-the-art Computer Learning Center is equipped with 20 workstations with adaptive hardware and software of various types so a wide spectrum of cognitive and physical abilities can benefit from the classes taught here. Learning activities focus on the use of assistive technology to expand expressive and receptive communication through the development of computer skills and use of the Internet.
This popular class offers instruction in the use of computers, Microsoft products, the Internet, e-mail, and adaptive hardware and software. With staff assistance, participants undertake individual study for educational learning, personal use, increasing communication, alphanumeric literacy, computer art or distance learning. Assistive technology and adaptive hardware and software are used to modify computers to increase access for participants with physical disabilities.