DynaVox Offers Assistive Technology to Help Veterans Overcome the Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury

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A recent RAND study indicates that of the 1.7 million troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 320,000 have sustained some type of head injury. Many of these soldiers and Marines live with a variety of memory, cognitive and communication deficits because of these injuries. DynaVox has announced a range of tools designed to supplement or replace diminished or lost skills and allow veterans living with the effects of traumatic brain injuries to live more independently.

DynaVox is committed to helping veterans of all ages and abilities overcome communication, memory and cognitive impairments and live as independently as possible

DynaVox, the world's leading provider of communication solutions for individuals who are unable to speak due to various congenital and acquired conditions, today announced a full line of solutions for veterans living with speech disabilities and/or cognitive deficits arising from traumatic brain injury (TBI). Designed to supplement or replace diminished or lost skills, the products allow veterans living with the effects of TBIs to live more independently.

A recent RAND study indicated that of the 1.7 million troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 320,000 have sustained some type of traumatic brain injury. Many of these troops have experienced less severe brain injuries resulting in complete recovery within weeks or months of the event. For those who sustain more significant TBIs, the resulting communication, memory and cognitive impairments can present lifelong challenges. These challenges often lead to social isolation and depression and make it difficult to obtain or hold a job, navigate in the world, and live independently. Even soldiers who recover quickly may need temporary support to help overcome these deficits until they are fully recovered.

"DynaVox is committed to helping veterans of all ages and abilities overcome communication, memory and cognitive impairments and live as independently as possible," said Jim Shea, DynaVox's vice president of marketing. "We're proud that our products can play such an important role in the lives of those who have served in our armed forces and their families."

DynaVox offers a range of solutions that provide the tools and support that can help many of these veterans live fuller, more independent lives, and reduce the burden placed upon caregivers. The following is an outline of these solutions:

DynaVox Co-Pilot by AbleLink Technologies
The Co-Pilot is a new comprehensive, research-based tool that assists individuals with TBI by supporting the executive functioning that influences organization, memory, emotional responses, and social skills and in turn affects performance at home, work and in the community. The compact handheld device increases independence by combining many tools into one intuitive system. The Co-Pilot has an integrated global position unit (GPS), and provides picture cues, audio cues, audible alerts and other features that help users manage daily tasks and reduce the need for caregivers to manage all aspects of the individual's life.

DynaVox V and Vmax
With advanced communication capabilities, the V and Vmax provide individuals with significant speech and language disabilities a highly effective means of communication for virtually any situation regardless of cognitive or physical abilities. As fully functional touch-screen Windows XP computers, the V and Vmax provide the user with e-mail capabilities, Internet, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and multiple access methods. Both devices feature thousands of pages of pre-programmed vocabulary. Users can compose messages using words, icons, photographs or a combination of all three. Programmable calendar reminders prompt users to take medication, pay bills, prepare for appointments and more.

Individuals with significant physical limitations can use the integrated infrared environmental control unit (ECU) to take control of the immediate environment. The infrared ECU on every device allows users to control common household appliances such as televisions and DVD players equipped with infrared remote controls, or X-10 controllers.

The addition of the EyeMax system to the Vmax allows individuals with severely restricted physical abilities to communicate quickly using eye-gaze technology. The V and Vmax can also be accessed through switches, head tracking systems, head sticks, and more.

Palmtop3
Weighing less than one pound, the Palmtop3 provides individuals with good fine motor skills a small, lightweight speech communication solution. Messages can be composed using words or icons.

Type and Talk Solutions
DynaVox offers two keyboard-based speech communication solutions for individuals with some literacy skills and fine motor function. The DynaWrite features a standard-sized computer keyboard that makes it easy for anyone familiar with a standard computer keyboard to communicate quickly and easily. The Lightwriter is a compact keyboard-based solution featuring a dual display that puts communication partners in a natural position for face-to-face conversations.

Individuals with cognitive and/or speech disabilities stemming from other diagnoses can also use these products. The Co-Pilot can help individuals living with memory and cognitive challenges resulting from stroke or Alzheimer's disease, while the company's speech communication solutions can help those with communication and speech disabilities due to stroke, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease), Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, laryngectomy, glossectomy or craniofacial injury.

DynaVox is a VA contracted vendor.

About DynaVox
DynaVox Systems pioneers speech communication technology, giving an opportunity for a better life to the millions of adults and children around the world challenged by significant speech, language and learning disabilities caused by conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease), stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, Parkinson's Disease, autism and mental retardation. Driving by a strong entrepreneurial culture, the company applies proprietary and third-party technologies, and applied research efforts to deliver a broad range of speech communication hardware and software tools, and offers an extensive customer support program, which enables individuals and their families to access the latest technology and reimbursement counsel regarding the company's suite of products. For more information about DynaVox, visit http://www.dynavoxtech.com.

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