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Speech Generating and Assistive Technology Device training for Interdisciplinary Evaluations and Recommendations

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Speech-language pathologists who serve on rehabilitation teams recommending assistive technology do not typically receive training in best practice evaluation procedures. Intensive continuing education workshops have been established to meet this need. In 2009, our university-based school of rehabilitation science and engineering was awarded a Veterans Administration (VA) multi-year grant to assist with the development of Assistive Technology clinics at polytrauma rehabilitation centers across the USA. A component of the grant is to provide "Deep Dive Workshops" to apply newly-learned assistive technology skills to interdisciplinary client evaluations. Training workshops include: faculty presentations; hands-on technology learning objectives; team evaluations of rehabilitation clients; team case presentations; and planning sessions for incorporation of skills into outcome-based clinical practice. Participants have included both VA and private sector rehabilitation professionals (i.e., SLP, PT, OT, Physicians, Case managers, Vendors). To date, ten "Deep Dives" have taken place in 5 locations across the US with over 500 participants. An additional Deep Dive was held in August of 2015 for 60 pediatric rehabilitation specialists of the Teleton Children's Rehabilitation Centers of Mexico. Assistive Technology areas have included: augmentative communication, seating and wheeled mobility, computer access, cognitive prosthetics, sports and recreation equipment, and adapted driving. Comparison of US private sector, VA hospital, and Mexican pediatric rehabilitation service delivery models in consideration of referral procedures, facility constraints, personnel needs, funding sources, and local resources will be discussed.


Andrew Jinks    
University of Pittsburgh Center for Assistive Technology
United States

Olivia Sahagun    
Teleton Children's Rehabilitation Center - Guanajuato


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