Assistive Technology Clinic

Kennedy Krieger Institute • 707 N. Broadway • Baltimore, MD 21205

Co-Directors:

Jan Turner, PhD, CCC-SLP
Director of Speech and Language Deptment

Nancy Inman, MAT, CCC-SLP
Program Manager

About Our Program:

In Kennedy Krieger's Assistive Technology Clinic, a team of professionals from the disciplines of speech pathology, occupational therapy and physical therapy works in conjunction with rehabilitation technology vendors to provide services to clients. Augmentative communication assessment and treatment are offered to individuals who are unable to communicate verbally. Assessments often include computer access and environmental control issues. Seating and power mobility evaluations are completed with Kennedy Krieger's occupational therapy and physical therapy departments, in conjunction with wheelchair vendors. Augmentative communication strategies can range from low-tech picture communication boards to high-tech systems with speech synthesizers. Because the clinic's clients access devices in many ways, the staff is trained to match and customize communication devices according to individuals' abilities and needs.

Primary Goals:

Kennedy Krieger's Assistive Technology clinic is dedicated to acting on the notion that through the use of technology, individuals with disabilities can greatly improve their ability to communicate, to access computers and to move through the world.

Success Story:

Amy came to the Assistive Technology Clinic at age 14. She has mixed cerebral palsy, visual difficulties and severe dysarthria of speech, a condition that has left her unable to communicate verbally. After undergoing an in-depth assistive technology team evaluation including speech, OT, PT and Chesapeake Rehab, the clinic team made recommendations and, in the area of augmentative communication, recommended the use of a DynaVox 3100 dynamic screen voice output system. The clinic assisted in funding this device through her insurance. When the device arrived, a word-based vocabulary composed by the clinic was loaded into Amy's device and customized according to her individual needs. During a later follow-up visit, the team went to Amy's home and assisted the family with programming her DynaVox for environmental controls. She now operates her TV, VCR, CD player and lights through the DynaVox. Amy's father recently reported that she is now communicating successfully with family and peers through the use of her DynaVox. The device is mounted to her wheelchair and a second mount has been positioned to her bed, making available communication and environmental controls when she is resting.

Appropriate seating is critical to Amy's ability to access her communication device. Amy is non-ambulatory and uses a manual wheelchair. Because of her visual difficulties, she was not determined to be a good candidate for a power wheelchair. She was evaluated by the assistive technology team and received a seating insert for her existing chair. Due to problems with skin breakdown, a pressure relieving seating system was order and funded through her insurance.

Hours of Operation:

Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Contacts:

To make a referral or request an initial evaluation:
Contact our Care Management Office
Toll-Free Referral: (888) 554-2080
Local Referral: (443) 923-9400

For follow-up appointments:
Carolyn Fergsuon
Administrative Assistant
Phone: (443) 923-2660
Fax: (443) 923-2655

Additional Diagnoses Served: 
Cerebral vascular accident (stroke)
Dystonia
Verbal apraxia