Giving a Voice to Those Who Cannot Speak

AAC technology gave him a voice!

“Mommy, did you see that airplane? It looks so little. How can people fit in it? When I get big, I’m gonna go in an airplane and I’ll wave to you when I pass our house. Can we have meatballs ‘n’ spaghetti for supper tonight? And can I stay up late now ‘cuz I’m five and a quarter?  Mommy, how come babies don’t have any teeth? Mommy, I have a big boo-boo on my finger. See! It’s giant! Can I have a band-aid? Mommy, how come my thumb goes out sideways and all the other fingers go up straight? Ooo – Abba just came home. I’m going to show him my boo-boo.”

Mommy breathed a sigh of relief as the kitchen became quiet. Finally. But it wasn’t always that way. It was less than a year ago that little Eli*’s vocabulary consisted of a total of ten words. Four years old and only ten words! Even those were unclear and difficult to understand. E. was born with a chromosome deficiency that manifested itself in severe developmental delays. They were advised to begin an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) program and borrowed a communication iPad from Ezer Mizion’s AAC Lending Library which provides hi-tech communication devices together with guidance, advice and support. The family’s efforts to boost his speech soon began to show results and Eli* began repeating words he had never spoken before.  The family was amazed but their amazement soon turned to disbelief when Eli*’s vocabulary broadened and he uttered his first sentence. Things began to snowball after that and one year later, the family returned the ipad. Why? It was no longer needed. Their child had become fully verbal.

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Momentous Conference on AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication)

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Communication Being Re-learned

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.

One cannot imagine the anguish of an intelligent, hitherto productive adult with opinions of many subjects who is forced to remain silent as discussions take place around him. His dignity is further reduced when obliged to accept as his daily needs what others provide for him, unable to make his basic wants known. Continue reading Momentous Conference on AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication)Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

A Special Shabbos

pr spec CP Yeshiva Shabbaton-ok Shaindy- 12321367_623353854484221_8551078663630228239_nShabbos is always special but recently Shabbos in Yeshivas Birkat Moshe was extra special. Extremely grateful for the gifts Hashem has given them, they have decided to share those gifts with Hashem’s special children. For the second time, they have invited the members of Ezer Mizion’s Matan Club for Young Adults with Special Needs to join them for a Shabbos. With maturity that belied their years, the Yeshiva students took complete responsibility for every detail. Each Ezer Mizion boy was assigned a dorm room where he roomed with Yeshiva students, sharing their conversation, their thoughts, their jokes. For an intelligent but speech-impaired, wheelchair-bound young man afflicted with CP, this alone was a heavenly taste of normalcy.  Continue reading A Special ShabbosFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Google Chooses Ezer Mizion

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 MizionFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Victory!

Yediot Acharonot, January 1, 2015             by Yaron Kellner
pr voca Yael 1 2015 10923549_429973373822271_1954063940696763614_nThe victory of little Yael, just 6-1/2, who has cerebral palsy (CP) and cannot speak: A special computer that will enable her and another 625 patients to communicate with the people around them was finally included, for the first time, in Israel’s Ministry of Health Basket List of subsidized medical equipment. “This is a gigantic gift,” says her mother, Dana.

Yonit Hagoel-Karnieli, Director of Ezer Mizion’s Speech Generating Devices Lending Center and the one who led the battle that led to this major achievement, announced today: “Israel’s Ministry of Health Basket Committee has recognized the basic human right to speech!” Continue reading Victory!Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Thank You for Enabling Us to Speak

Rabbi Freund
Ezer Mizion

Shalom!

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 SpeakFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Giving a Voice to Those who Cannot Speak: Touch Chat

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. pr phone MC900384154 (1)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 ChatFacebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail