ALS

If you have been diagnosed with a progressive disease such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), voice banking is something that should be considered as early as possible. Accessibility Services, Inc. (ASI) is proud to partner with Acapela Group.  They are the developers of a software called, “my-own-voice”, which seamlessly integrates with the autonoME to make it a powerful and effective ALS communication device.  Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why voice banking is important to anyone with ALS or another progressive disease that affects speech:

Speak with Your Own Voice

At some point, a person with ALS will lose their ability to speak.  Once this happens, voice assistive technology can be used to help them communicate.  The autonoME is an environmental control unit/speech generating device with full augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) capabilities. Acapela Group’s “my own voice” software allows individuals to preserve their own synthetic speech by creating a digital copy of their voice.  Later, when speech is impaired, individuals with ALS and other progressive diseases can still communicate and project the sound of their own voice through the autonoME.

Capture Unique Sayings and Expressions

The beauty of voice banking is that it can be used to create stock messages and expressions.  This helps ensure the person maintains his/her own identity.  For example, perhaps a mother has a nickname for her son that she says with a certain expression or tone of voice. Her unique tone and delivery can be preserved through voice banking.  Voice assistive technology will allow her to continue to communicate with him and others using her normal expressions when she loses her speech.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with ALS, please give us a call to learn more about how ALS communication assistive technology and environmental control units for disabled individuals can improve your overall outlook and quality of life.  We’re here to help!

ALS

Being diagnosed with a progressive disease such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) can be devastating to both the person with the disease and their family and friends.  Once the initial shock has worn off, it is time to start making plans for living life with the disease.

Get Support

First and foremost, both you and your loved ones should consider getting support to help you navigate through the disease process.  The ALS Association is a good place to start. There may be support groups and resources in your area that can help you with everything from mental health and emotional support to applying for disability benefits.

Explore ALS Communication Assistive Technology Options

At some point, ALS communication assistive technology and environmental control units for disabled individuals (ECU units) will be needed to help you maintain quality of life.  Exploring these options sooner than later will help you identify the type of ECU units/voice assistive technology you will need as well as find the resources to secure this technology when the time comes.  Voice banking is also something you may want to consider early on as it can become an important part of ALS communication assistive technology when the ability to speak is hindered or lost.  The autonoME is an integrated environmental control unit/speech generating device that is effective, user-friendly and has helped countless individuals with disabilities and progressive diseases achieve independence.

Consider Medical Trials

ALS in particular has many ongoing medical trials.  Ask your doctor about what trials he or she may recommend for you to consider.

Accessibility Services, Inc. is here to help ensure you or your loved one maintains as much independence as possible. The autonoME has different input methods and accessibility options so once a diagnosis is confirmed, we can work with you and your speech therapist and physical / occupational therapy team to develop a customized solution that accommodates the different stages of your disease. Give us a call to learn more.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive disease that causes damage and eventually death of the nerve cells that control muscles and movement.  This incurable disease has remained somewhat of a mystery over the years. There is no one test that can definitively diagnose ALS, and the disease has very limited treatment options.

However, in an article published in Medical News Today, scientists may have identified significant differences in the cells and neurons present the spine of healthy individuals and individuals with ALS.  The study concluded that “people who had died from focal-onset ALS had different types of motor neurons, compared with healthy individuals.”  Scientists hope this breakthrough will lead to new treatments that slow the progression of the disease.

While there is still no definitive cause and few effective treatment options to enhance quality of life and life expectancy, the autonoME does offer some independence and hope for individuals with ALS and their friends and family.  The autonoME not only allows a person with ALS and other debilitating diseases and conditions to control their environment, but it is also an effective ALS communication device.  Environmental control units (ECU units) and ALS communication assistive technology have made significant strides over the years with the autonoME leading the way. Accessibility Services, Inc. developed the autonoME for individuals with spinal cord injuries and debilitating diseases.  In addition to ALS, the autonoME is a leader when it comes to environmental control units for disabled individuals AND communication devices for quadriplegics and individuals with debilitating diseases. Interested in learning more? Give us a call today.

Voice Assistive Technology

Voice assistive technology is a term used to describe any type of electronic device that offers speech assistance, including personal speech aids, voice amplifiers, and what is commonly known as a speech generating device (SGD).  Accessibility Services, Inc. offers voice assistive technology through our proprietary autonoME.  The autonoME is an integrated environmental control unit (ECU)/speech generating device (SGD).  It’s superior augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) features are one reason why the autonoME is considered an industry gold standard.

The autonoME features a variety of different input methods – including touch, eye gaze, switch scanning/sip and puff, and head tracking – which makes it an ideal (ALS) communication device for individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. When it comes to ALS communication assistive technology, the ability to accommodate different input methods is extremely important as the disease progresses.  A person who once was able to operate the autonoME using touch may need to utilize head tracking during later stages of the disease.

As far as equipment for quadriplegics, the autonoME can be customized to meet both environmental control and voice assistive technology needs. It is one of the most popular communication devices for quadriplegics.

If you or a loved one are affected by a progressive disease (i.e. ALS, multiple sclerosis, etc.) or are a quadriplegic who needs speech assistance, voice assistive technology will significantly improve and enhance the way you communicate.  Give us a call to learn more about how the autonoME can help.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease.  Also commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS can affect anyone, but most commonly occurs in individuals between the ages of 55 and 75.  As the disease progresses, nerve cells that control muscle movement degenerate.  As this degeneration occurs, ALS communication assistive technology and environmental control becomes necessary to help individuals with the disease communicate and maintain some independence.

Let’s take a look at the different stages of ALS:

Onset/Early Stage

Symptoms during this stage are often mild and include muscle weakness, problems with grasping or holding on to objects, muscle twitches, stiffness and cramping, fatigue, digestive problems and weight loss.  In some cases, speech begins to become affected.  Once diagnosed, individuals should begin to consider incorporating ALS assistive technology such as an environmental control unit and ALS communication device.

Middle Stage

Symptoms experienced in the previous stage often become worse.  The onset of paralysis also often occurs, as well as weakness in the mouth, chest and throat.  An ALS communication device is especially helpful during this stage.

Late Stage

Most of the body’s muscles become paralyzed during late-stage ALS.  Sometimes a feeding tube and/or ventilator are required.  An environmental control unit and ALS communication device become absolutely necessary to perform daily activities such as turning on the television, calling for caregivers, and speech communication.

It’s important to note that disease symptoms and progression vary with each individual.  The earlier ALS assistive technology can be incorporated, the better. The automoME is an integrated environmental control unit/speech generating device with full augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) capabilities and features.  Different input methods enable the autonoME to be used during any and all stages of the disease.  If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with ALS, we can help.  Give us a call today.

ALS assistive technology

One of the most devastating aspects of progressive diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is losing the ability to control your surroundings.  Fortunately ALS assistive technology has advanced to allow individuals the ability to become more independent and control their environment.

A previous article discussed how ALS communication assistive technology plays an integral role in helping individuals and their families and friends cope with the disease.  Environmental control is just as important.

The autonoME is an environmental control unit (ECU)/speech generating device (SGD) integrated into one single package.  Not only is it an effective ALS communication device, but it also has superior environmental control capabilities.  Let’s take a closer look:

Surroundings

The autonoME allows individuals to have complete control of their television, lights, fan, bed, telephone and more.  We customize the autonoME to fit the individual needs of each client.

Computing

The autonoME is equipped with Windows 10 and has full computing capabilities.  Access the internet, post on social media, send e-mail and messages, play games, watch videos and more.

Adjustable Settings

This is an important feature for individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The autonoME is easy to operate and features settings that can be adjusted as needed, including scan speeds, voice outputs, and self-calibration when using the accessory kit Intelligaze camera for input.

Accessibility Services, Inc. is dedicated to serving the needs of individuals with severe spinal cord injuries and progressive diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.  If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with ALS, give us a call to learn more about how ALS assistive technology can significantly improve quality of life.  We’re here to help.

amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

A new study performed by researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science suggests that intestinal, or gut, microbiome may affect the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).  Results of the study indicate that certain microbes slowed ALS-like diseases.  This research, while in its infancy, may be the first step toward developing new treatments for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and similar diseases.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease.  It affects the nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain, specifically the motor nerves that oversee muscle control and voluntary muscle movements.  As the disease progresses, breathing, moving, speaking and eating becomes more and more difficult.

ALS assistive technology can be used to help individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis perform tasks such as turning on the lights, controlling the television and calling for caregivers.  The autonoME is a combined environmental control unit (ECU) and speech generating device (SGD).  Not only does it allow individuals to control their surroundings, but it also gives them a voice.  ALS communication assistive technology is especially important because without it, communicating can be challenging.  What makes the autonoME such a popular ALS communication device and environmental control unit is that it can be customized to fit the specific needs of the individual.  It can also be modified as the disease progresses.

Veterans of the United States Armed Forces diagnosed with ALS may qualify to receive an autonoME through the Veterans Administration (VA).  If you are a veteran with the disease and would like to learn more about how you can receive this advanced ECU/ALS communication device, contact your local VA office.

Accessibility Services, Inc. stays on the forefront of research and technology to ensure our products deliver the best results for the clients we serve.  If you or a loved one are interested in learning more about how environmental control and ALS communication assistive technology can help, give us a call today.

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is essentially any form of communication with the exception of speech.  This can include symbols, pictures and sign language.  When it comes to augmentative and alternative communication and assistive technology, the speech generating device (SGD) is what often comes to mind. Augmentative and alternative communication becomes significantly important to individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) as difficulty with speech and/or total loss of speech is common, especially as the disease progresses.

The inability to speak is frustrating and often devastating for both the patient and his/her family, friends and caregivers. Fortunately, ALS communication assistive technology has come a long way over the past several years.  The autonoME is an integrated environmental control unit (ECU) and speech generating device (SGD) that is considered the gold standard when it comes to ALS assistive technology.  The autonoME, which is also used by quadriplegics and individuals with spinal cord injuries, has become an ALS communication device of choice due to its superior AAC features.  Let’s take a closer look at why the autonoME is considered a preferred ALS communication device.

Voice Banking

As we discussed in a previous article, the autonoME’s voice banking capabilities are one of the reasons why it is a top choice when it comes to ALS assistive technology. Individuals with early stage ALS can preserve their own synthetic speech that can be re-created when they lose their ability to speak.  Those with advanced ALS can have a friend or family member donate their voice so that the speech generated by the ALS communication device is that of a familiar voice.

Different Input Methods

The ability to accommodate different input methods is another reason why the autonoME is popular in the ALS communication assistive technology realm. The autonoME can be controlled by voice, touch, eye gaze, switch scanning/sip and puff, and head tracking.

Ease of Interface

The interface of the autonoME is extremely user friendly, which is important when it comes to ALS communication assistive technology.  It is easy for both the patient and their caregivers to learn.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, there is hope.  Your friends at Accessibility Services, Inc. can customize your autonoME to fit your specific needs.  We understand and we’re here to help.  Give us a call today.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Accessibility Services, Inc. (ASI) is not only proud to serve veterans, but many of our staff are veterans.  Our Founder, Fred Thompson, founded ASI in 1991 with a primary mission to help veterans.  Although our reach has expanded well beyond that market, veterans are still the core of what we do and large part of the population we serve.

Research by the Defense Health Research Program expands on the connection between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and military veterans (Read the ALS Association summary of the report.)  In a nutshell, veterans appear to be at an increased risk of developing ALS, regardless of branch of service.  Although research is still underway to identify possible ways in which amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is connected to serving in the military, factors that may contribute to increased risk in veterans include exposure to lead, pesticides or other environmental contacts, use of tobacco or alcohol or extreme physical exertion. The Veterans Administration (VA) has designated amyotrophic lateral sclerosis as a service connected disease.

An ALS communication device and ALS assistive technology can help ease the burden of this devastating disease. ASI is a leader in ALS assistive technology and our proprietary autonoME is covered by the VA. The autonoME is more than just an ALS communication device. It is an integrated environmental control unit (ECU) and speech generating device with full augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) features.  The autonoME has been transforming the lives of veteran’s with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and other service connected illnesses/injuries for nearly a decade.

Although there is not a cure yet, we can provide a better quality of life until one is found.

Veterans diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis can talk with their local VA representative about acquiring an autonoME.

amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Voice banking is a way for individuals with early stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other progressive conditions to preserve their own synthetic speech.  As we covered in previous articles, ALS eventually results in loss of speech.  An ALS communication device can help with communicating.  The autonoME is an example of such a device.  It is an integrated environmental control unit (ECU) and speech generating device with full augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) capabilities.  The autonoME features different input methods which allow individuals to control the unit at varying stages of disease.

ALS communication assistive technology has advanced to where an individual can actually “bank” their own voice while they still have speech so that it can be synthetically re-created when they lose their ability to speak.  Accessibility Services, Inc. (ASI) is proud to partner with Acapela Group, developers of my-own-voice.  This software seamlessly integrates with the autonoME, making it an even more effective and powerful ALS communication device.

There is even a solution for individuals with advanced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.  Individuals who have lost their ability to speak can ask a family member or friend to donate their voice, giving them the ability to speak using sounds that are familiar.

ASI is committed to staying on top of advances in ALS assistive technology.  We have had several clients utilize my-own-voice with the autonoME and the results are quite impressive.  If you or a friend/family member are affected by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS communication assistive technology can significantly improve your overall outlook and quality of life. Your friends at ASI are ready to set up your new autonoME.  Give us a call today.