As well as providing advice and support, we also advocate for people who require a communication aids. Although we cannot guarantee to be able to assist everyone, the selection of case studies detailed here show some of the happy endings.
Nicola recently took delivery of a ChatPC 4, which is a durable PDA-based dynamic communication aid. Funding for her device was obtained from Kent County Council.
Nicola lives in supported living in Tonbridge together with three friends and is very active including things such as horse riding, gardening, lunch club and is also involved in her local church. The portability and durability of the ChatPC 4 suits Nicola's lifestyle well. Nicola said it was good to have a new communication aid as it would help her with telephoning her Dad and sister, and also with communicating more easily when out and about in the community.
David had a Message Communicator on loan from Find A Voice and found that it was an invaluable aid to everyday communication. The experience of the product and the impact on David's quality of life was used as evidence to support a successful bid to Kent County Council for funding of David's own communicator.
With his Message Communicator David can do many things which he was previously unable to; for example he can talk to his Nan when she visits, as impaired vision had prevented her from using the visual aid that David used previously. David can also speak to family members over the telephone instead of waiting for them to visit and can represent himself better at meetings and reviews. When asked what he would do without his Message Communicator David grabbed hold of it and refused to let go!
Rod Davis has a Say It Sam communication aid, which has proved invaluable. Rod says "I had a stroke almost three years ago and as a result of this I lost the ability to speak and communicate. I have had speech therapy which has not proved to be very successful and have made little progress. However, since receiving the speech machine 'Say It Sam' through the assistance of Find A Voice, my communication skills have improved greatly due to the vocal and spelling assistance from the machine. I have no doubt it will accelerate my rehabilitation."
Ben borrowed a Vantage communication aid to assess its suitability, and from this he was able to secure a funding package shared between his family and East Kent and Coastal Primary Care Trust. West Sussex County Council will also be providing considerable support for him to develop his communication skills with the new aid.
Ben was previously using a very old ORAC communication aid and his care support worker has said that the new Vantage aid will allow Ben to communicate to an excellent standard.
Daniel lives in Paddock Wood with his Mum. He needed to move on from the digiMax which he had been using for many years. He was recommended to try a Dynavox DV4 by his speech and language therapist as it would give him greater independent selection of vocabulary, clarity of layout and easier retrieval of items for use in connected speech at the right level for Daniel. Most important, is has the capacity for greater language skill development. A funding package was obtained and Daniel is now happily using his new device.
Adrian's previous communication aid, a DynaMyte, had broken and was unable to be repaired successfully. With the help of Find A Voice Adrian successfully applied for a joint funding package from Kent County Council and his local Primary Care Trust to purchase a Dynavox V.
Adrian will be using his V mainly to communicate in the community with people that do not know him and who may have difficulty making out what he wants to say. A few days after getting the V, Adrian was able to go to the bank and tell the cashier he wanted to withdraw money - she was most impressed!
Tony is in his 20s and throughout his life he has been committed to succeed in life and participate in community life. He uses a wheelchair and switches to access a computer. Tony doesn't have learning difficulties but relies on both high and low-tech communication aids to express himself. His old laptop was unsuitable as it didn't have switches, had limited voice output and was not easily mounted.
Tony was looking for a Tellus3+ communication aid and in May 2007 Tony got the good news that an agreement had been reached to fund him the Tellus3+ and access equipment. This funding is to be provided by East Kent Coastal PCT and Kent County Council OT and Sensory services.
Anne is a young woman with cerebral palsy living independently with her disabled husband. Anne needed a new up to date Lightwriter text-based communication aid as a lightwriter is her main form of communication. She relies on it for example when she visits her doctor or dentist, without it she would lose her privacy. She has many blind friends so it is great that she is able to communicate with them. She also likes to use the telephone, impossible without the Lightwriter. Find a Voice has achieved agreement from Kent County Council and Dartford/Gravesham/Swanley NHS PCT to joint fund the new Lightwriter which Anne has now received.
"Hi, I'm Keith Price, and in 2004 I got a new communication aid thanks to the help of Find A Voice.
My old Delta Talker was not working properly and had been discontinued. I needed a Pathfinder to do things like
- order a Chinese take-away
- get my railway ticket
- take part in my college course
- have a social life.
My machine is a life-line to communication with others and I desperately needed one to maintain my quality of life.
My new aid cost £8,735. I was featured in the local paper and some kind people responded to my appeal. Find A Voice worked on my behalf and succeeded in achieving joint funding from Health and Social services towards my Pathfinder. THANK YOU!!"