The iCan! Communicate Program is designed to assist individuals with Down syndrome that have limited speech. The FOUNDATION will provide iPads to participants who will then work with the students in the UCF graduate level course: Augmentative and Alternative Communication. The UCF graduate students will assess the individuals selected for the program, identify the best applications on the iPad for them to be successful communicators, program the appropriate application on the iPads so they can use it for communication and then teach them and the professionals who work with them (and / or their family members) how to use the application and iPad in real world experiences. Along with the program development and training these individuals will receive a 'plan of care' that can either be taken back to their Speech / Language Pathologist or they can select to work with the UCF Communication Disorders Clinic for on-going training and updates to their iPads.
What is the criteria?
To participate in the iCan! Communicate program applicants must:
We believe this to be a win-win-win situation for the university students, the community as a whole and the individuals with Down syndrome we serve. If you are interested in learning more about this partnership or would like to become a sponsor of this unique program in the state of Florida, please contact Christine.Bancalari@dsfflorida.org. We look forward to bringing you many success stories from our iCan! Communicate partnership with UCF.
When applying to participate in the program, Meredith’s mother shared that she and her husband learned in January that Meredith sustained vocal fold damage subsequent to surgery to repair Meredith’s trachea and esophagus.
“Finding out that your child may not be physically able to speak can be devastating for parents,” Kent-Walsh shared. “We were thrilled to be able to have Meredith participate in this program at such a young age since it is critical to provide all children with the tools they need to continue to develop their language and communication skills. Meredith is a bright child with an effervescent personality. It’s incredible to see her already using her iPad to express herself more fully.”
UCF and the Down Syndrome Foundation of Florida first offered the iCan Communicate program in October 2011. Read the full article here.
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