Something exciting happened today that is going to change for the better the way I communicate!! After a 19 month wait list, today was my first appointment at the ICAN centre at the Glenrose rehabilitation hospital . They specialise in augmentative electronic voice communication. The past few years since spoken communication has become so tough for me, I've patched together my own alternative communication methods (ie writing on a notepad, using an app on my phone with an electronic voice etc), but going to the experts is so much better.
Today they've loaned me this fancy communication device to trial. If it works out as well as I think it will, I can maybe get one to keep. It has an electronic voice that can adjust on volume and speed, as well as has word prediction and saved conversations that will help me communicate faster. It can also access the Internet and do a bunch of other neat stuff that will help me both with verbal communication and even writing stories.
Isn't it wonderful to live in this day and age of technology? My life would have been truly different if it was just 20 years ago and I was facing this. For so many thousands of years, people with speaking disabilities were silent. How many through the ages have sat quietly in homes the world over as their lives passed by in silence because the barriers to communication were just too high? How many great ideas and wonderful connections have been locked inside the minds of those who could not verbally communicate?
It makes me want to tell the stories I tell in their honour- my silenced brothers and sisters who've lived and gone before me. To those who did not have the incredible gifts of communication I've received.
To have an electronic voice when my own physical one is not an option is a gift I won't ever take lightly.