How the Anne McDonald Centre can help adults communicate

The Centre's services are available to people of any age, with any diagnosis. 

We see many adults. 

We see people who have had communication impairments since infancy, but who have never been given an effective augmentative communication strategy. 

We see people who received communication intervention as children, who want to have their current communication strategies reviewed in the light of recent developments in communication  techniques and technology.

And we see adults with acquired disabilities, people whose speech became impaired in adulthood due to conditions such as stroke, infection, head injury and motor neurone disease.

Whatever the person's history, our goal is to assess their communication needs and to find the communication strategies which will best assist them.

Augmentative communication is a relatively new field.  The technology and techniques used have changed very significantly since DEAL opened in 1986, and government funding for communication aids has only been readily available for all Victorians for the past decade.   Consequently, many adults who need communication aids and have the potential to use them, have never had the opportunity.  We think the communication of any adult who is not communicating fluently, and who has not had an individual assessment or review by a specialist in augmentative communication in the past 5 years, is due for review.

Our intervention is assisted by generous communication aid funding.  The Victorian government provides any adult whose speech isn't functional with an electronic communication device to the value of $7,000.  There is no waiting list, and aids which are outgrown or turn out to be inappropriate may be swapped for better options.

DEAL's involvement does not cease when a device is prescribed.  We teach the communication aid user and their support team to use the new device, after personalising its layout and programming to suit the user. 

If an electronic device is not appropriate or desired we arrange for the provision of low tech communication boards and books instead.  We also provide low tech books and boards for communication aid users to use in situations  such as beach or pool which would be hazardous for an electronic device, and to use when their electronic device needs charging or repair.

Anne McDonald Centre. 538 Dandenong Road, Caulfield 3162 Victoria, Australia Ph: 03 9509 6324, Fax: 03 9509 6321
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