Posts Tagged ‘communication device’

Momentous Conference on AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication)

May 24, 2017

pr voca AAC conf 4 17 fEzer Mizion, a leader in the field of Alternative and Augmentative Communication, recently hosted a major conference whose purpose was to bring the latest innovations to both professionals and family members. The plight of those who were never given or who have lost their ability to speak has long been on Ezer Mizion radar.

One cannot imagine the anguish of an intelligent, hitherto productive adult with opinions of many subjects who is forced to remain silent as discussions take place around him. His dignity is further reduced when obliged to accept as his daily needs what others provide for him, unable to make his basic wants known.

For a child, the situation is even worse as speech is a vital element in his development. His IQ is hampered in its maturation due to lack of communication with those around him.

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Presenting the Latest on Communication Devices and Methods

Ezer Mizion AAC professionals have done much research and have been on the cutting edge of each new advancement. The conference was purported to share this knowledge with conference participants  which included speech and language practitioners, OT’s, others in the field of language and communication from schools, speech clinics and medical centers all over Israel  in addition to key leadership from Bituach Leumi (Israel’s Health Insurance). World class clinicians and technical developers  in the field of augmentative communication sat alongside end-users and their families each gleaning new concepts that will give a voice to those who cannot speak.

Watch Martin ‘speak’ at the event


MK Litzman, Israel’s Minister of Health, addressed the conference expressing the Israel government’s satisfaction in being part of Ezer Mizion’s endeavor to make communication accessible to all members of the population.

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Excellent Communication without Normative Speech

Conference keynote speaker was Dr. Melanie Fried-Oken, who is a certified speech-language pathologist, a professor of neurology, pediatrics, biomedical engineering and otolaryngology (ENT) and an adjunct professor in the Communication Disorders and Sciences Department at Portland State University.

Dr. Oken’s clinical area of focus is augmentative and alternative communication. She has been serving adults with communication disorders since 1979. When not in clinic, Dr. Fried-Oken leads an active federally-funded research team that explores technology, new interventions, and patient-centered outcomes for individuals with significant communication impairments and their families.

Dr. Oken inspired everyone with her groundbreaking research and innovations in the field of AAC, working closely with hi-tech developers on AAC solutions for people with communication impairments.

The conference achieved its goal of raising awareness among AAC professionals regarding innovations in the field and options available for high tech AAC solutions and how to access them. Many of the professionals are committing to the series of lectures that Ezer Mizion will be giving in coming months on AAC related topics which will further enrich the professional world and ultimately people for whom speech and communication is a constant challenge.

Enable access to hi-tech communication devices to more of the speech impaired!



Giving A Voice to Those That Cannot Speak

March 16, 2011

Ezer Mizion: Giving A Voice to Those That Cannot Speak

Speech therapists from all over Israel participated in a three day conference coordinated and hosted by Ezer Mizion’s VOCA (Voice Output Communication Aids) “Omer Center” on the topic of Alternative and Augmentative Communication.
Ezer Mizion’s VOCA Omer Center provides an invaluable service by evaluating needs and capabilities of people with challenges in the areas of verbal communication, comprehension and accessibility.
The Center expands the knowledge of professionals in the field, and – most importantly – strives to provide every person with tools to communicate with those around him and fulfill a basic human need.
The VOCA Omer Center performs comprehensive and sophisticated evaluations for children and adults with congenital or acquired deficits in the area of expressive and receptive speech and computer accessibility.
At a national convention for speech therapists, the head of the Center, Ms. Yonit Hagoel-Karnieli, gave a fascinating talk on the subject of alternative communication. In the wake of that speech, many of the clinicians from the audience expressed interest in a more intensive treatment of the topic.
As a result, speech therapists at the Omer Center headed by Hagoel-Karnieli put together a three day conference at Ezer Mizion. Among the topics discussed at the workshop: Expanding and deepening knowledge about alternative communication, detailed explanations of the speech generating (VOCA) devices and talking computers employed for this purpose, the needs being met, the target populations, different types of alternative communication devices, new innovations in the field, strategies, work approaches, and more.
Lectures at the workshop were delivered by speech therapists Dr. Goody Wein, Ms. Yedida Levin, and Ms. Sharon Shachar, as well as Tzofit Elbak, a special education teacher, and Yonit Hagoel-Karnieli, head of the Center.
Tens of thousands of adults and children in Israel struggle with severe speech limitations. Throughout the world, augmentative and alternative communication is an accepted therapeutic tool for people suffering from severe speech limitations due to cerebral palsy, developmental delay, autism, strokes, brain tumors, major accidents, and more.
In order to help people with these handicaps, a variety of devices and communication computers have been developed. These serve as superior communication aids for communication challenged people and often constitute their only way of verbally connecting with those around them.
These devices give the user ability to communicate at the touch of a button (or, at times, even through a focused glance) and enable him to “vocalize” pre-recorded messages or phrases typed into the device.
In view of the tremendous success of the conference, additional workshops are planned for professionals on the topic of speech generating devices and communication techniques and strategies.
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