#GiveBR Part 1: What is an AAC Device?

Tuesday, November 28, is the 2nd annual #GiveBR, a unique campaign that encourages Greater Baton Rouge to support the nonprofit organizations who dedicate their time and efforts to improving our community. It takes place the same day as #GivingTuesday, a national day of giving.

For this special #GiveBR day, we are raising funds to support our AAC Loaner Program.

At Emerge, we provide a variety of multi-disciplinary services for young children with autism. There are many children in our autism program who are non-verbal and unable to communicate on their own. These children have plenty to say, but no way to speak the words.

We aim to provide Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) iPad devices at no cost to the families through a loaner program. More commonly known as a “talker,” these devices help children communicate with their families and therapists. This loaner program provides families the opportunity to try out the system before making a significant financial investment on their own device.

The device consists of an application called “Speak for Yourself.” With the use of a talker, these children can express their feelings, wants and needs.  However, the system represents a rather significant financial investment for families.

Through the AAC loaner program, families can borrow an iPad pre-loaded with the “Speak for Yourself” software for up to 12 weeks, at no cost. When a child is provided a communication system, we are often amazed at what we see! The amount these children KNOW and WANT to say is mind boggling.

Our goal for #GiveBR is to raise $2,500, which will be doubled by a generous $2,500 match from Kevin and Staci Tabor, to purchase FIVE complete AAC systems for The Emerge Center’s iPad loaner program.

Please help us reach our goal on this special day of giving! By supporting us through #GiveBR, you can help us provide more loaner iPads to families. At a cost of $1,000 each, these devices are pricey but invaluable tools to help children emerge.