Proeftuin ALS Digitalk
Project ‘Proeftuin ALS Digitalk” finished
The purpose of the Flanders’ Care demonstration project “Proeftuin ALS Digitalk” was to equip pALS with a communication problem, where common verbal and written communication was no longer possible, with assisting communication technology, systematically follow up its optimal use and adjust where necessary. This way, pALS have always had the most appropriate tool at their disposal, so that they could keep communicating with their environment at all times. The impact on the quality of their life was also kept into account and questioned, focussing on the prevention of social isolation. A lot of ALS patients end up in an growing isolation as the disease develops. A rapidly declining mobility, problems with speaking skills and of course a lot of discomforts that start to display during the development of the disease, often make people withdraw themselves from the society.
Even now that the project has finished, pALS can remain getting help from ALS for lending aids, including an ample line of communication tools.
pALS can continuously make their needs known at:
Secretariaat ALS Mobility & Digitalk
A good start is half the work: start using a communication tool in time.
A large number of ALS patients experience communication problems in the course of their illness due to the loss of speech and / or hand function ( writing, typing ).
They are full of vision, ideas, dreams, desire, needs,... but it becomes increasingly difficult or impossible for them to express those to their environment. Because communication is the cornerstone of independence, their lives seem likely to be totally determined by others. This may lead to resignation and social isolation.
Fortunately, the world of engineering and ICT will come to their aid. For a significant period of time tools have been developed that support communication. Common examples include tablet PC’s that have different software applications installed, text-to-speech devices (for instance Lightwriter), laser pointer controlled keypads for computer speech (such as Lucy), or its variant based on eyeball control, by which people with ALS can maintain or regain their independence. This sector of assistive technology is developing rapidly. Regularly new equipment is designed. Obviously, from our perspective of ALS Mobility & Digitalk we very much welcome this.
However, we realize that the use of communication tools is not always self-evident and that not everyone is a techie.
Sometimes you have to cross a threshold and show great commitment to become familiar with the operation and capabilities of a device. Especially in the early stage, this can be tiring.
We therefore advise ALS patients with (incipient) communication difficulties not to put off using a communication tool but to go to work as soon as possible. That way you give yourself the time necessary to really learn how to make use of a device, a pleasure for yourself and your loved ones! For more information and free lending of these tools, please contact ALS M & D, 016/23.95.82.