Assistive Technology Solutions:
For Individuals With Communication Deficits
Presented by Shawna Dunnaway, OTR/L
The Missouri Rehabilitation Center Assistive Technology
Understanding of appropriate candidates
Understanding of the assessment process
Familiarity with the Technology
Understanding Interdisciplinary roles in AT
Therapeutic Uses of Assistive Technology
What is Assistive Technology?
Assistive Technology is defined as any item, device, or piece of equipment that
is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional abilities of persons with
Assistive Technology Examples
Candidates for Assistive Technology
Individuals with Deficits that Challenge Verbal and/or Written Communication
Individuals with a Basic Understanding of Cause and Effect
Individuals with Adequate Receptive Language Skills
Assessing for Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices
Gross and Fine Motor Control
Positioning and Tone
Site of Optimal and Consistent Movement
Motor Planning – for direct selection or to Scan with a Switch
Page 1 of 3
The Visual Hierarchy
by Mary Warren, MS, OTR
Visual Field Cuts/Neglect
Size of Icons
Size of Font
Cause and Effect
Expressive/Receptive Language Assessment
Word Finding – Anomic Aphasia
Recognition of Letters
Reading of Text - Alexia
Writing or Typing - Agraphia
Therapy Goals: Determining Comprehension of Symbols
Can Client Select Correct Picture Upon Request?
Can Client Choose Correct Picture to Respond Appropriately?
Can Client Find Pictures in a Timely Fashion?
Does Client Have Greater Success with Text?
Therapy Goals: Assessing Functionality of AAC
Does Client Initiate?
Page 2 of 3
Does Client Require Verbal Cues?
Does Client Require Tactile Cues?
Does Client have Support from Family/Caregivers?
What Setting(s) Will Client Use AAC?
Is Client Motivated to Use AAC?
Where to Mount – left/right side
How to Mount – Type of Wheelchair
Michelle Wheeler MS, CCC-SLP
Shawna Dunnaway, OTR/L
The Missouri Rehabilitation Center’s Assistive Technology Evaluation Center
Phone: (573) 882-9111
Fax: (573) 884-5311
Page 3 of 3