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April 2014 Update on Medicare and Speech Generating Devices
Contact your Regional Care Manager for help with Alternative and Augmentative Communication and with Adaptive Equipment.
With your health care team complete an APPLICATION for communication loaner equipment assistance.
The Scott A. Mackler, MD, PhD, Assistive Technology Program in Florida
During the course of the illness, most people with ALS experience difficulty with speech and movement. That's where the Chapter's Assistive Technology Program comes in - it uses technology to increase or improve functional capabilities for our patients.
Assistive technology can enhance the quality of life for people living with ALS by tapping into their abilities, providing new and alternative means to stay active and continue to participate in every day activities. With all the latest developments made in the field of rehabilitation technology, it is often challenging to know what appropriate technology is available to meet an individual’s needs. The Scott A. Mackler, MD, PhD, Assistive Technology Program provides trained technologists to assist patients with the daunting task of identifying and applying assistive devices. These devices may include communication technology, telecommunications, computer access, electronic aids to assist with daily living, and assistance with seating and mobility issues.
Please indicate "In memory of Dr. Scott Mackler" on donation form.

A Reason for Hope

The Scott A. Mackler, MD, PhD, Assistive Technology Program of The ALS Association Florida Chapter loans and helps provide assistive technology devices, such as:

  • Remote door chimes to call for help 
  • Environmental control units that offer hands-free access  
  • Scanning telephones to promote independent phone use
  • Dedicated communication devices that convey messages
  • Computers with voice output and ability to access the Internet
Assistive Technology opens the door to the outside world for people with ALS. It helps them regain contact as they knew it, before ALS. A world where communication came as easily as picking up the telephone, or messages could travel around the world by simply pressing a button on your computer.  

About the Program

The Scott A. Mackler, MD, PhD, Assistive Technology Program is made possible by the generosity of the Mackler family and friends. Dr. Mackler, a renowned addiction researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, was diagnosed with ALS in April, 1999 and passed away on November 13,  2013.
The ALS Association Florida Chapter is implementing an innovative, coordinated approach to assistive technology. Dr. Mackler recognized the importance of assistive technology to improve the quality of life for people living with ALS, and wanted to see the efforts of the Chapter further expanded into a complete program.
The Scott A. Mackler, MD, PhD, Assistive Technology Program enables people with ALS to have access to assistive technology devices and services which are often not covered by insurance policies.
The Florida Chapter loans speech-generating devices and other communication equipment at no cost to patients and families who are in need. This may include the uninsured, underinsured, those who cannot access their insurance, or are waiting for insurance approval. We also coordinate training conducted by Speech and Language professionals for new users of devices borrowed from our Chapter. 
For help obtaining a speech-generating device covered by your insurance or to find a qualified Speech and Language Pathologist in your area, contact your Regional Care Manager 
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  Answers to Frequently Asked Questions. FAQs: When Your Speech is Affected. Click Here  
  The Florida Relay System has special phones that can be used with communication devices and a Speech-to-Speech Relay for those with impaired speech. Click here.  
  Free Letterboards - Never be without a communication board, even if you have an electronic communication device. Electricity can go out, devices may break, so always have a back up system - like these letterboards: Eye Gaze Boards, Numbered Line Boards.  
  If you would like a laminated copy of these boards, contact Care Services at the Chapter office at 888-257-1717 ext. 113.  





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