For Immediate Release
Easterseals Associate Wins 'Talk To Me' Assistive Technology Device for Autism Services
In celebration of its 16th anniversary, Talk To Me Technologies gifted AAC devices to speech therapists/pathologists around the country.
February 20, 2023
In celebration of its 16th anniversary, Talk To Me Technologies—which provides assistive technology known as Speech-Generating Devices, allowing people with communication difficulties to “speak” in a synthesized voice—decided to do a give-away of six Wego 10A devices to speech therapists/pathologists around the country.
Natalie Jauregui, MA, CCC/SLP, ATP, an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Coordinator in Autism Services for Easterseals Southern California, took pen in hand to submit an essay on why her participants could benefit from such a tool and was thrilled to be selected as a winner (from among thousands of entries) for one of the devices, which cost around $8,000.
Said Jauregui, “One of Easterseals’ goals is bridging the gap for accessibility and inclusive practices for everyone. It’s all about being able to provide access to our clients, kids and adults, who are really struggling with communication. It can be challenging to secure a device through insurance, so having options for our participants is really impactful. The functionality of these devices is just amazing. These are most importantly speech-generating devices, but you can also use them to access your social media, send texts and emails, post on Instagram. You can hook up to a Bluetooth and use it as a remote.
“This technology is pretty cool,” she continues. “We just gave an AAC device to a man who had a stroke and he’s doing so well. We provide services to a 61-year-old man who has alcohol fetal syndrome, autism and an intellectual disability and has been completely non-verbal his entire life. We’re very excited to work with him with this device and give him the opportunity to express himself. This tool is life-changing for people with disabilities.”
Says Bruce Fleming an AAC consultant for Talk To Me Technologies, “We are in a world of interactions usually conducted by speech. Someone who can’t speak is at a huge disadvantage for connecting, getting their needs met and creating relationships with people. Anyone who has difficulty speaking—adults and children of all ages with communication differences due to diagnoses like autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, stroke, ALS, Rhett Syndrome, traumatic brain injury and more—benefits from using one. Easterseals is an amazing organization. Its programs reach so many people and we are happy to provide them with equipment that so uniquely improves the lives of people with disabilities.”