Assistive Technology in Action – Meet Elle

Hi, my name is Elle O’Gorman. I am 14 years old. I like to go shopping at the mall. I have two brothers named Cole and Carter. [ Music ] Hi, my name is Jill O’Gorman, and
my daughter is Elle O’Gorman. She is 14 years old and diagnosed
with cerebral palsy.>>Elle O’Gorman: This is my Dynavox. I use it to talk.>>Jill O’Gorman: The Dynavox is an augmentative
communication device that helps her communicate with us and her peers and at school.>>Elle O’Gorman: When I look at a picture
using my head mouse, the Dynavox talks for me.>>Jill O’Gorman: Without the Dynavox, she was, had a difficulty communicating
what her needs were. People tend to underestimate her ability or what
she understood and what she was able to express.>>Elle O’Gorman: I like to
write e-mails with my Dynavox. Before I had my Dynavox, I used a laptop.>>Jill O’Gorman: We started out with
just a simple book chart that was broken into categories, and she would eye gaze
towards the pictures that she wanted. From there, we advanced to trying out a
Pathfinder, which had too many buttons for her and was a little bit frustrating for her. So we went to a laptop with
a communication software. From there, we went to the Dynavox.>>Elle O’Gorman: I am learning to use more
buttons to tell people what I am thinking.>>Jill O’Gorman: The school played a
role in helping us find the Dynavox. The assistive technology specialist
who’s been helping of the district who helps Elle was very instrumental
in helping us. Elle is on an IEP, and so
it was an IEP team decision to determine what device
would work best for her. So they helped select the Dynavox
trial it, and then helped with funding. We contacted Dynavox first and
did a I believe a six-week trial. During that trial period, we
had to write an extensive amount of monitoring to give detail about the trial. The speech pathologist along with the assistive
technology specialist from the district helped in writing all of that up,
and then we had to submit it to insurance to see if it would be approved.>>Elle O’Gorman: My teachers
helped me with my Dynavox.>>Jill O’Gorman: We’ve all had
training from Dynavox and, again, the assistive technology
specialist has trained her IEP team. So modifications and additions
and stuff were added by, at school and sometimes I add
them at home as I think of things. So it’s really a team approach.>>Elle O’Gorman: At school, I can chat
with friends, interact with my teachers, and practice my letters and numbers.>>Jill O’Gorman: The Dynavox has really
opened up a lot of doors for Elle in terms of just being able to tell us everything that
she wants and needs and as well as helped with school in communicating with her peers and
could, and some social opportunities for her, and so we will continue to, you know,
explore future technology options to see if there’s anything new and improved and
better, which I’m sure there will in the future.

17 thoughts on “Assistive Technology in Action – Meet Elle”

  1. That is correct. The little dot is a reflective sticker which the infrared camera on top of the Dynavox tracks. When she moves her head it tracks the movement and moves the cursor on the screen. When she holds her head in one spot for a few seconds it clicks for her.

  2. I work with people who use communication boards/books which are so basic and falling apart. Some of them would really benefit from these kinds of devices, but the government and organisation won't give them any funding if they think it'll be too difficult for them to use it and if it won't be their primary method of communication. But even if someone was able to use this for an hour a day to communicate more complex thoughts and not just "water", "toilet"…

  3. Wow! This is the reason why I want to transfer my cognitive studies credits to pursue a master of science in assistive technology studies and human services at SoCal State University, Northridge. To make a difference in the quality of life of kids with disabilities and their families.

  4. I would like to point out that only the prox tallker allows for core words (words that make up 80% of our communication. Having core and fringe words available for a child as soon as they start to use AAC is incredibly important. Communication involves not only naming and requesting but describing, questioning, protesting or refusing, telling feelings and talking about anything they want. Modeling is important and the only prerequisite for a robust communication system (one with core and fringe words) is breathing. That is all we expect of babies when we start from the moment they are born to show them (model) language…we don't eliminate words and we don't expect responses we simply show them how to communicate. Thank you

  5. Hi! Thank you for your informative video! I would like to know if Elle or clients in similar situations also use an Occupational Therapist, especially as part of her IEP team?

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