An almost-perfect AT device at the CMHR Winnipeg

Something that I myself have been trying to instigate in certain public venues is an accessible device that is so universally-inclusive that it will enable even those with communication difficulties to navigate and enjoy a venue such as a museum, mall, campus, or hospital.

Well, a colleague has just introduced me to a small museum, the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, in Winnipeg which kind of got there first. Revised in 2015, they provide a free App (or a free loaded device) which enables visitors to navigate and enjoy the museum. The audio information is available in English, French, ASL, LSQ, and in transcript form.

I applaud this museum in Winnipeg for indeed pioneering an App that makes the building, the information, and the experience accessible for everyone. Perhaps I should not be surprised that it is the Museum of HUMAN RIGHTS which was one of the first to make this necessary leap!

You can find out more about it here:

https://humanrights.ca/blog/pioneers-inspiring-mobile-experience

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New technology enabling brain-brain & brain-computer communication

Who hasn’t tried to send a message telepathically? Whether it was in grade 5 and you were trying to tell your best friend across the room a secret message, whether it was just this morning trying to tell the slow driver in front of you to go, or whether it was your grandfather clearly trying to give you a non-verbal message which you just didn’t understand….but you wished you could understand – well, someone has actually succeeded in making it happen!

In 2014, scientists and researchers in Barcelona achieved the first non-invasive human brain-to-brain communication. For details see here:

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0105225

This type of technology is called Brain Computer Interfaces, or BCI for short, and has progressed greatly in less than a century, and includes the first brain implant only 20 years ago. Although the idea that a human brain can control a robot across the galaxy seems like something taken directly from Dr Who, amputees have been using their minds to control their own prosthetic limbs for a few years now. This includes Leslie Baugh, who lost both arms in an electrical accident 40 years ago and became the first shoulder-level amputee to wear and simultaneously control a pair of mind-controlled prosthetic arms.

Never left behind in the tech scene, the gaming world has already begun testing BCI gaming and virtual reality systems for fun (https://www.hindawi.com/journals/cin/2016/3861425/) and also for physical and mental rehabilitation (http://factor-tech.com/feature/brain-computer-interfaces-the-video-game-controllers-of-the-future/).

However, the need for a communication device to communicate with non-verbal humans has been discussed for a while now (https://www.uwo.ca/fhs/csd/ebp/reviews/2009-10/Deagle.pdf), and even though limited messages have been sent as far as from India to France, John Trimper, an Emory University doctoral candidate in psychology, points out that, “It is, however, not too soon to start considering the ethical implications of future developments, such as the ability to implant thoughts in other people or control their behavior (prisoners, for example) using devices designed for those purposes. “The technology is outpacing the ethical discourse at this time,” Emory’s Trimper says, “and that’s where things get dicey.”” Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/why-brain-brain-communication-no-longer-unthinkable-180954948/#VXxELMtlXeiRkJoH.99

 

 

ACFAS next week!

ACFAS 8 mai – 12 mai à Montréal

Bonjour!

We are gearing up for Congrès de ACFAS to be held next week at McGill campus, Montréal from Monday May 8th to Friday May 12th. Each day there will be talks on different topics, but all will be relevant to le francophonie. If you are interested in checking out any of the talks, go to the links from the congrès found here:

http://www.acfas.ca/evenements/congres

See you there!

 

CAMS : Communicative Access Measures for Stroke

A free tool to assess how accessible your organization really is….

Good morning!  On the subject of my last post, I have found a tool to assess exactly how accessible any particular organization is in regards to communication. Or, in other terms, how “aphasia friendly” is your place of business? https://cams.aphasia.ca/

It appears to be fairly straightforward and includes an overview package and a 30 minute video to clarify what CAMS is and to help with setting up a free account. The steps which follow are explained using text and visuals.

The surveys, which the measures are based on, are intended to be taken by staff, SLPs (if possible), patients, and administrators. I am mentioning this because I feel that surveying all the people involved should be a more objective and accurate measure of just how accessible communication is for those who need it in any particular place. I applaud this organization for providing this service for free.

The surveys themselves are available as pictographic surveys with accompanying scripts to assist staff in facilitating the completion of patient satisfaction surveys.

If you and your organization do decide to try the measures available here, please let me know how well the process works and what the results of the measures indicate. Perhaps your organization could be highlighted on this blog!

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 Bonjour! Au sujet de mon dernier post, j’ai trouvé un outil pour évaluer exactement à quel point une organisation est accessible en ce qui concerne la communication. Ou, en d’autres termes, comment “aphasia friendly” est votre lieu d’affaires? https://cams.aphasia.ca/
Il semble assez simple avec une vidéo de 30 minutes pour clarifier ce qu’est CAMS et pour aider à créer un compte gratuit. Les étapes qui suivent sont expliquées à l’aide de textes et de visuels.
Les enquêtes sur lesquelles les mesures sont fondées sont destinées à être prises par le personnel, les orthophonistes (si possible), les patients et les administrateurs. Je mentionne cela parce que je pense que les opinions de toutes les personnes impliquées devrait être une mesure plus objective et plus précise de la façon dont la communication accessible est destinée à ceux qui en ont besoin dans un endroit particulier. J’applaudis cette organisation pour fournir ce service gratuitement.
Les enquêtes elles-mêmes sont disponibles en tant que relevés pictographiques avec des scripts d’accompagnement pour aider le personnel à faciliter l’achèvement des enquêtes de satisfaction des patients.
Si vous et votre organisation décidez d’essayer les mesures disponibles ici, faites-moi savoir si le processus fonctionne bien et ce que montrent les résultats des mesures. Peut-être que votre organisation pourrait être mise en évidence sur ce blog!