Sara felt helpless. Her grandmother felt helpless. Each one frustrated, until Sara remembered a course she had taken three years ago.
Sara obtained the email address of her former university teacher, Yonit Hagoel Karnieli, Director of Ezer Mizion’s AAC (Alternative Augmentative Communication) National Center and sent her the following message:
I attended your AAC course as part of my Speech and Language Practitioner training three years ago. Now, my grandmother is in the hospital, intubated. I wanted to ask if you have any advice. She is fully conscious and her cognitive condition is absolutely normal. She’s been trying to communicate with lip movements and gestures, but cannot always make herself understood. It’s so hard to see her trying to tell me something and not being able to get across. Sometimes we both sit there, reduced to tears. How many stories did she read to me when I was a child! How many deep conversations we shared during my teenage years! And now, when she needs me, I’m not able to help her. I’d really appreciate if you could guide me.
With sincere thanks,
That same day, a reply landed in her inbox:
I really hope that your grandmother has a speedy recovery. As part of that process, check out Ezer Mizion’s website. Go to the AAC Center link – https://www.ami.org.il/augmentative-communication/ and download the “Handbook for the Hospitalized Patient.” You’ll find a range of aids and tips for improving communication.
The handbook is built in the form of a flowchart. By answering “yes” and “no” questions, you can easily arrive at the most helpful communication solutions. It’s like playing Twenty Questions and enables you to zero in on what your grandmother wants to say.
Within a short time, Sara had accessed the handbook and devoured its contents. She was blown over by its clarity, practicality, and user-friendly setup. “Wow! The handbook that you put together is nothing short of amazing! Thanks for your help!”
Says Yonit Hagoel-Karnieli: “This is just one example of the feedback we get on a daily basis about the ‘Handbook for the Hospitalized Patient’ that we compiled and posted on the website. It is indispensable for people like Sara’s grandmother, who are in communication crisis situations and without professional intervention.”
Ezer Mizion’s AAC Lending Center — along with its associated projects, such as the Handbook — is truly a one of its kind service.
Every person deserves the right to express himself, and Ezer Mizion’s AAC Division is helping people in Israel exercise that right in the best way possible.