Free
Research Article  |   August 1989
Two Augmentative Communication Systems for Speechless Disabled Patients
Author Affiliations
  • George C. Newman, MD-PhD, is Assistant Professor of Neurology, Department of Neurology, University Hospital, State University of New York at Stony Brook. (Mailing address: Department of Neurology, HSC T12–020, SUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York 11794)
  • Angela R. Sparrow, OTR, is a Staff Occupational Therapist, Department of Neurology, University Hospital, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York
  • Frank E. Hospod, MS, is a Research Associate, Department of Neurology, University Hospital, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, New York
Article Information
Assistive Technology / Hand and Upper Extremity / Neurologic Conditions / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Stroke / Traumatic Brain Injury / Features
Research Article   |   August 1989
Two Augmentative Communication Systems for Speechless Disabled Patients
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 1989, Vol. 43, 529-534. doi:10.5014/ajot.43.8.529
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 1989, Vol. 43, 529-534. doi:10.5014/ajot.43.8.529
Abstract

Patients may be rendered speechless because of many conditions, including cancer surgery, stroke, cerebral palsy, cervical cord and head trauma, neuromuscular paralysis, and intubation for respiratory failure. These same conditions may also be associated with decreased use of the hands, so that writing and other nonverbal forms of communication are also impaired. Lack of communication can frustrate the patient, the family, and health care personnel; increase the patient’s isolation; and lead to poor patient cooperation, thus impeding progress in therapy and producing secondary psychiatric disturbances. Two communication programs that use a Commodore 64 computer are described in this paper. One communication program uses the alphabet and the other is based on the international Morse code. These programs are easy to use and inexpensive to establish, and they accommodate any switching device.