Summer Program Helps Nonverbal Youth Build Confidence To Communicate

Posted by OI/AT Team on 6/28/2019

A young user of the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices at a summer program for youth with communication disorders hosted by Our Lady of the Lake (OLLU) on June 25, 2019.

After petting a golden retriever sitting next to her in the library of Our Lady of the Lake University, Kayla Jansen used the speech-generating device attached to her motorized wheelchair to convey what she could not verbalize: The dog, she said, was “soft and cute.”

Jansen, 19, has cerebral palsy and is unable to communicate verbally, leaving her unable to articulate her feelings or give voice to her wants or thoughts in the typical way. But Jansen has plenty to say, and she uses her text-to-talk tablet to do it.

On Tuesday morning, Jansen attended a summer program at the university designed to help youth with communication challenges learn how to use apps and adaptive technologies to express themselves to the best of their ability.

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