I read the June/July 2011 article on “The ABCs of Aphasia” with interest. Another way to get people with speech disabilities to talk more and be socially active is to let them know they can communicate on the phone. This intervention can help people with speech disabilities express themselves better, restore a sense of self-sufficiency, and broaden their world.
As someone who has a speech disability, I know how encouraging it is to find out that communicating by phone is possible. Speech services are available to enable people with speech disabilities to make phone calls. Two such services I know of are Speech-To-Speech and Hearing Carry Over. Every state provides these services free of charge.
Speech-To-Speech provides the assistance of a specially trained operator who understands the speech patterns of the speech-disabled and can “revoice” what that person is saying.
Hearing Carry Over allows a person with a speech disability to hear the person being called and then type his or her end of the conversation, which is read to the other person by the relay operator. For more information, visit my Web site, beckyspeaks.org.
—Rebecca Ladew, B.S, M.S.
Speech Disabled Representative, Baltimore, MD