Posts Tagged ‘language’

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!

 

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Speech and Communication

February 15, 2010

Ezer Mizion leaves no stone unturned in its attempt to help those in need and has developed close relationships with the leading lights of the professional world.  Donna Lederman, M.A., CCC/SLP, Senior Certified PROMPT® Instructor in the USA was recently invited to Israel by Ezer Mizion to provide training in PROMPT therapy which provides tactile cues to guide movements for speech production in children whose motor speech systems are unstable or poorly coordinated and have not achieved success using traditional forms of speech therapy.

Continuing its search for means of assisting various segments of the population challenged with seemingly insurmountable difficulties, Ezer Mizion invited Ms. Molly Kessler to provide an introduction in SLA therapy for over 300 parents and educators. Ms. Kessler has innovated the SLA therapy method for children with communication challenges.

The method relates to the act of social communication as if it were a language in and of itself. It views those that are challenged in the use their social skills as if they were new immigrants in the “land” of social behavior.

Ms. Kessler cracked the code of “social language” and consequently developed a method for teaching the language, now known as the SLA School, to those unfamiliar with this tongue in the form of a language school, similar to the American ESL (English as a Second Language) programs.

In the ESL program, participants learn the language’s grammar, diction and rules while undergoing the emotional experience of using a new language properly. The pupil acquires the social language as living and dynamic, depending on the circumstances in which it is used.  They are motivated to learn the language as it becomes an effective tool for them in achieving their goals and aspirations.

Most people acquire their social skills naturally, without effort, as they learn their mother tongue.  All who are challenged by social skills: people with learning disabilities, ADHD, difficulties in executive skills – especially regulatory skills, the range of Autism and Asperger’s syndrome, SPD, Hyperlexy, and people socially burdened for emotional reasons, can all learn the social language as a second language, in three stages:

I) Participation in a language school for social skills – a place that enables the participants to formally learn, step by step, the rules and uses of the social language.  Commonly, participants’ close relatives, e.g. parents, spouses, caretakers, etc. participate in this stage.

II) In the second stage, participants practice using the new language in groups comprising of similar-aged learners, supervised by a qualified SLA social language trainer.  The group exercises what they have learned under the guidance of the trainer. Their social skills are sharpened as they acquire new tools and build their self-confidence in the use of the social language they have learned.

III) The third step is less structured but far more influential.  By naturally using the new social language in the “real world”, participants gradually undergo positive emotional experiences and reinforcements.  By successfully using the social skills (language) acquired, the participants achieve their goals and aspirations more easily and effectively.  This satisfaction confirms and justifies the efforts they invested in learning the language, while encouraging further development and the sharpening of those skills.

Hundreds of socially challenged people have successfully been helped with the SLA Molly Kessler Method! By cracking the code, the social language can now be taught – enabling more people to learn to speak and experience improved social integration and function. Parents and educations were encouraged to register for Ezer Mizion’s new SLA course so that their children may achieve what has been thus far impossible to attain.

Ezer Mizion remains on the cutting edge of professionalism and invites all friends of Ezer Mizion to visit its website at www.ezermizion.org to view the many efforts to alleviate the varied challenges of Israel’s population. For further information, please call 718 853 8400.