This chapter presents an exploration of the phenomenon of speaking with, or perhaps better stated “through,” a device. Autobiographical works and other published accounts of perceptions of Speech-Generating Devices (SGDs) by persons who have used them are reviewed. The bulk of the chapter focuses on insights gathered from research into the lived experiences of young people who use SGDs. Emerging themes focus on what is “said” by a person who cannot speak, how SGDs announce one’s being in the word, the challenge of one’s words not being one’s own, and the constant sense of being out of time. Reflections on these themes provide insights for practice in the fields of speech language pathology, education, and rehabilitation engineering. The importance of further qualitative inquiry as a method to gather and listen to the voices and experiences of these often unheard individuals is stressed.
Special thanks to the children and families whose stories have helped me to understand at least in some small measure what it means to speak through a machine. In particular, I would like to thank Chelsea and her mom for always responding to the request “can you tell me about a time when … ?” I would also like to acknowledge the Canadian Disability Policy Alliance for supporting this research. Finally, I would express my gratitude to Dr. Veronica Smith for her direction and support in crafting this chapter.
Look Howery, K.L. (2015), "Speech-Generating Devices in the Lives of Young People with Severe Speech Impairment: What Does the Non-Speaking Child Say?", Efficacy of Assistive Technology Interventions (Advances in Special Education Technology, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 79-109. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2056-769320150000001004Download as .RIS
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