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A Speech Generating Device for Persons with Intellectual and Sensory-Motor Disabilities

  • Giulio E. LancioniEmail author
  • Nirbhay N. Singh
  • Mark F. O’Reilly
  • Vanessa A. Green
  • Larah Van der Meer
  • Gloria Alberti
  • Viviana Perilli
  • Adele Boccasini
  • Maria L. La Martire
  • Russell Lang
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Abstract

This study assessed a new Speech Generating Device (SGD) with three adult participants whose multiple disabilities included blindness or minimal residual vision. The side of the device facing the participants measured 35 cm × 20 cm and was divided into 15 sections each containing an optic sensor. Above each optic sensor, there was a small object or tag with a word in Braille referring to an activity. Removing an object/tag activated the underlying optic sensor and caused the device to verbalize a request for the activity that the object/tag indicated. The caregiver responded by ensuring the occurrence of the activity. The study was carried out according to a non-concurrent multiple baseline design across participants. During the baseline, the mean frequencies of communication events per 60-min session were zero or close to zero. During the intervention phase, they increased to between about six and 11. The mean cumulative activity time per session exceeded 45 min for all three participants. Each of them preferred using the device over alternative occupation during the preference checks carried out across the intervention period. Moreover, staff personnel interviewed about the device provided highly positive scores regarding its impact and usability. Implications of the findings were discussed.

Keywords

Speech generating device (SGD) Multiple disabilities Communication Activity time Preference Staff’s opinion 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giulio E. Lancioni
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nirbhay N. Singh
    • 2
  • Mark F. O’Reilly
    • 3
  • Vanessa A. Green
    • 4
  • Larah Van der Meer
    • 4
  • Gloria Alberti
    • 5
  • Viviana Perilli
    • 5
  • Adele Boccasini
    • 5
  • Maria L. La Martire
    • 5
  • Russell Lang
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Neuroscience and Sense OrgansUniversity of BariBariItaly
  2. 2.Medical College of Georgia, Georgia Regents UniversityAugustaUSA
  3. 3.University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  4. 4.Victoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand
  5. 5.Lega F. D’Oro Research CenterOsimoItaly
  6. 6.Texas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA

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