Communication. A frequent everyday occurrence. Hardly a blip on our radar. Until it’s not there. Until one needs a simple drink of water and cannot express himself. Until a soldier’s face is contorted with pain and he cannot relay to his nurse where the pain is coming from.
Mrs. Yonit Hagoel Karnieli,, head of Ezer Mizion Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Division presented on Zoom to 380 speech and language professionals, parents of children with communication impairments and governmental representatives in the Ukraine. The topic was “What is AAC and how it used in Israel.” Following this presentation, the Ukrainian government is interested in further collaboration which is being discussed.
Israel is considered one of the leading countries in high tech and the Ukrainian government was interested in learning from Ezer Mizion how to raise the bar of AAC use in Ukraine, particularly to benefit their soldiers who have been injured in combat in the current military conflict.
Life goes on. Tuesday is similar to Monday. We know what to expect. And that knowledge brings us security. And then one day, life falls apart. He becomes a stroke victim, lying on a hospital bed. Nothing is the same. Even his body has changed. What he could do easily in his past life now may be impossible. He is trapped in a nightmare and can’t seem to wake up. He needs explanations, he needs reassurance and he needs simple basic needs fulfilled, needs he cannot do on his own. Now, when he needs so much, he is unable to express himself. He tries to tell the nurse that he is thirsty but she doesn’t understand his garbled sounds. His loved ones try so hard but they, too, are unable to communicate. His daughter cries in frustration. She wants so much to help. She tries several possibilities but he continues to ask in his unintelligible speech, becoming more and more upset that he is unable to convey his thoughts and needs with those around him. More than 62% of stroke patients suffer through this demeaning and discouraging challenge. The stress, the anguish greatly hinder the healing process. But he remains at an impasse, unable to move forward. Continue reading Giving a Voice to Those who Cannot Speak
Ezer Mizion, a leader in the field of Alternative and Augmentative Communication, recently hosted a major conference whose purpose was to bring the latest innovations to both professionals and family members. The plight of those who were never given or who have lost their ability to speak has long been on Ezer Mizion radar.
“It could happen to anyone. Maybe to the person who passes your house each day on the way to work or the man sitting across from you on the train. This time it happened to my ozeret. A very nice lady who has been coming to clean for me for years,” relates Yonit Hagoel-Karnieli, Director of Ezer Mizion’s Speech Generating Devices Lending Center. “She was telling me about her brother-in-law who had a sudden heart attack. The heart attack led to a stroke which resulted in almost complete paralysis. From being a beloved member of a family, an active community member, he became a nothing- a “vegetable”. My ozeret was so upset. Continue reading Is “He” Still There?
Google.org has announced the allocation of grants to promote technological innovations that will make the world more accessible and focus on solutions for people with disabilities.
Ezer Mizion was chosen by Google for its project with Click2speak, an Israeli start-up, to develop an on-screen eye-tracking operated keyboard that will enable people with high cognitive function and limited mobility to communicate and control their environment. Continue reading Google Chooses Ezer Mizion
Do me a little favor. As you read these lines, look up for a moment and say something. Out loud. For instance, “Pizza with olives.” Someone will come into the room in a panic and ask if you lost your mind. You will laugh aloud and say: “It’s nothing. Just that weird Arieli with his nonsense. Everything is fine.”
Communication. This handy word that we instantly associate nowadays with an exclusive interview with a government minister or a strike by workers at the TV channel or a news bulletin. We’ve almost forgotten that it also has a basic meaning, more basic than any other: The ability of man to maintain a connection with those around him. To benefit from others, to give to them, to ask, to express emotions, to reflect other people’s emotions. To live. That is what you did just a moment ago. You produced a sound. Someone asked you something. You answered. That is how human society lives.
We have almost forgotten that some people lack this basic ability. Ezer Mizion National Headquarters. Fourth Floor. The Speech Generating Device Lending Center. Ezer Mizion’s remarkable place for technological solutions for the speech impaired, one of only three of its kind in the entire world. This floor of Ezer Mizion provides responses for the almost infinite spectrum of people who were not gifted with – or lost – the ability to communicate with those around them through speech.
Just before, they brought here a 43-year-old fellow, precisely my age. Continue reading Speak for Yourself by Kobi Arieli
Communication is taken for granted by the average person. He can enter a store and ask for a coke.He can say ‘excuse me’ and be allowed to pass. He can express his anger when treated unfairly. For some, though, it is not so simple. A stroke patient, an accident victim, a child born with a genetic disorder may be cut off from human communication due to his inability to speak.
Technological advances have enabled innovative devices to be used to provide the patient with the ability to communicate. He may use his finger to point on a communication board. He may touch a selected square on a touch screen or he may type on a keyboard to make his needs, his thoughts and opinions known to others. Continue reading Gates of Prison Unlocked
The demonstration was completely silent. But it was a powerful silence…a silence that spoke worlds. The children were demonstrating for a communication device to be included in the items to be funded by the government. The reason for the silence? Inability to speak! Continue reading A Silent Demonstration
We, the children, parents and staff of the educational-rehabilitative center “Tza’ad Kadima” – “Step Forward” – in Rishon Le’zion, would like to express our tremendous appreciation to Ezer Mizion for the loan of various types of VOCA communication devices, including the Deror talking computer. Continue reading Thank You for Enabling Us to Speak
Those that claim that technology has replaced normal conversation may have a valid claim.
Facebook has virtually replaced the homey kitchen chat. An email is so much more convenient than a phone call. All that may be true but what if a mother of toddlers is incapable of that heart to heart talk in a neighbor’s kitchen. What if a more-than-average intelligent young man is incapable of doing more than sitting quietly during a family discussion. He has so many thoughts. So many opinions. And they just run around and around his head with no place to go. Why? Because he cannot speak. Continue reading Giving a Voice to Those who Cannot Speak: Touch Chat