2001 Conference Proceedings

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RERC on Communication Enhancement--Activity Update

Frank DeRuyter, Ph.D.
Chief, Division of Speech Pathology & Audiology
Principal Investigator, RERC on Communication Enhancement

Kevin Caves, BSME, ATP
Director, RERC on Communication Enhancement
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, North Carolina

This presentation is sponsored by the NIDRR funded Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Communication Enhancement. The AAC-RERC consists of 10 research and development activities, each of which are designed to improve AAC technologies that further the development of communication, language, natural speech, discourse skills, literacy of persons with significant communication disorders. In addition, the AAC-RERC has several training and dissemination initiatives underway. This presentation will provide an update of the activities currently underway in the AAC- RERC, which is just entering into its 3rd year of operation.

The session will begin by provide participants with a brief overview of the AAC-RERC, its mission, objectives, and a summary of the various research, development, training and dissemination activities. This information will be provided in an oral presentation format with appropriate audiovisual support.

The remainder of the session will be devoted to providing more detailed oral presentations of specific AAC-RERC projects including preliminary findings when appropriate. Available for discussion will be the cooperative research and development activities being conducted in collaboration with the Federal Labs; an update on the AAC- RERC and AAC manufacturers working group on automated data logging; findings from the comprehension or rate altered discourse study; results of the two employment studies involving AAC users; an update on ACQUA; information on the upcoming state of the science and demand-pull conferences being sponsored by the AAC-RERC; results of the study examining organizational strategies by different groups of AAC users; and, an update on the development of a "menu-based" AAC interface for the elderly AAC users and AAC users with recall memory limitations.

In addition to the above, and depending on audience interest, we will be prepared to discuss managing a multi-site virtual research and development center as well as virtual collaboration using free Internet video conferencing and remote control tools.

This session will be provided in an oral presentation format with appropriate audiovisual support. Stakeholders participating in this session will have the opportunity to provide input to those specific AAC-RERC activities that will be presented as well as to informally discuss emerging issues, challenges, etcetera that need to be addressed by the AAC community.


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