Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)AAC labOur services
The lab is run by two speech and language therapists, Dr. Nimisha Muttiah and Ms. Shanika Sewwandi. The AAC lab provides communication supports for individuals with severe communication difficulties. We provide services in the areas of evaluation, trialing AAC, training sessions for clients and caregivers and follow-up sessions (in person or tele-health sessions). An evaluation is typically a 2-hour appointment to determine what could be the most effective AAC system for the child to improve his/her functional communication. In an evaluation session, we assess speech, language, other means of communication, visual processing, physical movement abilities, seating and positioning (with the support of physiotherapists) and cognition.
An AAC trial session is typically a 1-hour appointment to get an idea regarding whether the child could benefit from an AAC system. Both low-tech and high-tech AAC are trialed to determine what would be the most appropriate system for the child.
A training session is typically a 1-hour appointment to introduce the AAC system to the caregivers and to teach how to use it with their child in a functional manner. The ultimate purpose of a training session is to make caregivers more competent in using the AAC system with their child at home.
The AAC lab currently has lending library where tablet devices with communication apps loaded on them are loaned to families for one month. This allows the families to trial using the device at home to ascertain whether their child can use the AAC system functionally. For children, who could benefit from using high-tech AAC but cannot afford these types of devices we can assist by finding donors.
Conditions We Treat
Therapists in the AAC Program work with children diagnosed with:
- Cerebral palsy
- Craniofacial differences
- Developmental delay
- Metabolic and genetic conditions
- Traumatic brain injury
- Down Syndrome
- Degenerative conditions
Days/ time and venue of the clinic :
The AAC lab (room no – D20) functions on all 5 days of the week (Monday-Friday) from 8 am to 4 pm.
How to get an appointment :
Caregivers can contact or email Ms.Shanika Sewwandi to get an appointment.
Contact no – 0115960050 / 0766958029
Documents/things required when loaning tablets :
- For lending tablet devices we require the following –
- A copy of the national identity card of a caregiver
- A copy of the workplace identity card
- A letter from “Grama niladhari” including the name, address and monthly income level
The BIG-Mack is the easiest and most effective way to introduce single message communication to a user. With a press of the large colored top, an individual can communicate a single message up to 2-minutes long. New messages are easily and quickly recorded to the BIG-Mack throughout the day to provide opportunities to communicate in almost any scenario.
A voice-output, one button sequential messaging communication device. It can record a sequence of any number of messages, up to a total of 75 seconds. Messages are recorded in a pre-set order to play back in succession. Activate the colored top to play the first message. When done, activate the top again to play another message.
Record any series of messages directly into the BIG Step-by-Step communicator and press its large activation surface for the first in a series of messages. Press it again and BIG Step-by-Step is ready to play the next message. With 2 minutes of recording time, you can record as many messages as you need. BIG Step-by-Step is perfect for recording: verses of song or poem, steps in a recipe, Short social scripts to encourage conversational turn-taking. You can also use this sequence of messages feature for: giving a series of instructions, asking a series of questions, expressing a single message in a variety of different ways.
The wireless BigBlu VisionBoard offers a significant advantage to people who find it painful or difficult to use a traditional keyboard by improving readability and reducing eyestrain with big 1-in/2.54-cm square keys. The large, bold black-on-white letters and numbers are easy to see with a contrast ratio of 21:1 and are almost 250% larger than the print on standard keyboards. Users with low vision or physical limitations can increase and improve capabilities with greater comfort and control. BigBlu VisionBoard is compatible with Windows, MacOS, Chrome OS, and iPadOS devices.
- High Contrast: This wired keyboard with yellow keys and large print black letters, Can provide greater visibility, easy to view even in low light environment. Perfect for elderly and people with visual impairments.
- Large print keyboard: It has large print font, 4x larger than standard computer keyboard fonts. You can easily read keyboard keys, large print keys can reduce eyestrain and improve typing accuracy.
- USB Wired & Wide Compatibility: USB wired keyboard with wired USB connection plug and play!, No need to worry about charging or replacing batteries and is easy to set up, no driver required, compatible with Windows.
Go-Talks are battery powered augmentative/alternative communication (AAC) devices used by people who cannot communicate well by speaking. Another person (a classmate, sibling or friend, for example) records messages – any messages the user will likely need, in any language, dialect or accent.
Go-Talks are used by children with autism, Down syndrome, or severe cerebral palsy – or any condition which limits speech. Since Go-Talks come in several types and sizes, they are not used only by children, but also by adolescents and adults who have head injury, stroke, or temporary inability to speak (tracheotomy, etc.) Go-Talks are easy to use and are favored by teachers, assistants and parents.
Intelli-Keys USB is an adaptive keyboard. Instead of pressing keys on a standard keyboard, users touch a printed overlay that has been placed over a touch-sensitive panel. Areas on the printed overlay correspond to keys on a standard keyboard and mouse buttons. By using the set of standard overlays that come with Intelli-Keys USB, a person can type, enter numbers, navigate on-screen displays, and execute menu commands. In addition, Intelli-Keys USB has a variety of access settings and two programmable switch ports to meet the needs of people with disabilities.
The Tobii Dynavox AAC devices and communication software are designed to meet the broad range of needs for individuals with Motor Neuron Disease (MND), Cerebral Palsy, Rett Syndrome, Spinal Cord Injury, Multiple Sclerosis and Stroke/Aphasia. DynaVox devices assist individuals who are unable to communicate reliably with their own voices due to cognitive, language and physical impairments. It allows the individual to communicate using their eyes.
Head Pointers are devices which can be used to press or type keys by using voluntary head movements. Head pointers are mainly used by people with limited physical movements: especially hand movements.