Solutions and Applications

  The iCommunicator provides solutions to communication challenges for many end users in a variety of educational, workplace, and public access venues. Principal benefits are the accessibility and independence it enables end users to enjoy. Many federal regulations specify equal access guidelines, and the iCommunicator has unique capabilities and features that make it possible to easily achieve these goals. The iCommunicator is a revolutionary technology that provides communication accessibility in multiple environments and across the age span.

The following is a short list of scenarios where iCommunicator can be successfully implemented as a communication equal access solution.
Educational Settings
Workplace
Government
Healthcare
Public Access Venues



Education

Scenario 1: A motivated student who is deaf desires to experience independent communication in the educational environment. The student participates in his Individual Education Planning (IEP) meeting and when assistive technology is considered, the student requests that he be given the opportunity to use the iCommunicator in some of all of his classes. The IEP planning team agrees to evaluate his communication access needs and the features of the technology to determine if there is a good match. The iCommunicator could provide the independence and accessibility that this student desires.

Scenario 2: A school district has three high school students whose IEPs require an interpreter. The district has only one interpreter available at the present time. The iCommunicator could be used to meet the needs of students in some settings, thus allowing the most efficient use of the interpreter's time and skills. (Although the iCommunicator is not intended as a replacement for sign language interpreters, it is a viable alternative in many situations.)

Scenario 3: Several students in a middle school classroom have difficulty multitasking due to learning disabilities, motor disabilities, and auditory processing disorder. These students experience great frustration and miss information in class. The iCommunicator could be the perfect solution if the system is coupled with the TV monitor or an LCD projector so that all of the students could have benefit of the visual text display and then have copies of notes following the class. This application could easily be justified if a student with hearing loss was also in the class.

Scenario 4: A very bright student with a severe hearing loss is using advanced signal processing hearing aids and a wireless FM system, but the university’s lecture hall acoustics are very poor. The student misses critical information on a frequent basis and the cumulative effect is poor performance on tests and a decline in self-esteem. The iCommunicator could be the solution to allow this student equal access to acoustic information which should increase opportunities for message comprehension.

Scenario 5: A school district has five sign language interpreters and needs to add another interpreter for the upcoming school year in order to meet the needs of students. The district chooses to purchase the iCommunicator to make the best use of the resources available. The software program is used with those students who are judged to be the best candidates for using technology for access to acoustic information.

Scenario 6: Students with hearing loss often require tutoring in order to fill-in the gaps and enhance comprehension. The iCommunicator is an effective tool for students of any age level who are participating in tutoring or therapy sessions, particularly if the professional is not fluent in sign language. This presentation also provides the student with multisensory input during the tutoring, conferencing, or therapy session.

Scenario 7: An adult student is returning to school to advance her career. Vocational Rehabilitation is sponsoring her continuing education efforts. The student has a progressive hearing loss, uses personal hearing aids coupled with the Microlink wireless FM, and has learned sign language in order to augment her diminished hearing sensitivity. In planning for this student to have access to acoustic information in the learning environment, the iCommunicator is recommended as an appropriate technology for the community college setting. There is another benefit in that the Microlink FM is compatible with the LightSPEED FM system used for speech/voice input to the computer where the iCommunicator resides. The VR counselor will make certain to specify the channel frequency for the LightSPEED when placing the order for the iCommunicator.

Benefits
Independent communication in large and small group settings.
Interactive, two-way communication
Access to sign language
Learn fundamental sign language
Classroom learning station for directed activities
Opportunity to improve literacy skills
Equal access to orally delivered communication
Compatibility with other FM technology transmitting on 216 MHz
Note taking assistance
Accessibility during tutoring, therapy, and counseling sessions
Voice output to deliver presentations, interact in discussions and conversations
Quick Say feature to pre-program responses
Opportunity to improve speech recognition and speech intelligibility skills
Equal access to a free appropriate education (FAPE)

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Workplace

Businesses that support people with disabilities by complying with the applicable requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 may be eligible for a "disabled access credit” under Section 44 of the IRS Tax Code.
For more information

Scenario 1: A motivated individual with a severe hearing loss is unable to fully participate in meetings and trainings when an interpreter or note taker is unavailable. Often the meetings occur spontaneously. This individual has requested equal access on a consistent basis, and in particular for training that might allow for him/her to pursue an advanced career opportunity within the workplace setting. The iCommunicator could be the perfect solution to provide this individual equal access to verbal communication in meetings and also to pursue training that may result in career advancement.

Scenario 2: A person with a severe expressive speech disorder and a mild motor disability due to cerebral palsy is unable to easily and successfully communicate during meetings, deliver presentations other than in written format, and is frustrated by the lack of equal accessibility. The person's vocational counselor identifies the iCommunicator as a viable solution to the client's need for voice output and note taking capabilities for routine communication and job-related presentations.

Benefits
Independent communication in large and small group settings
Interactive, two-way communication
Access to sign language
Work station for gaining information from technical documents
Opportunity to improve literacy skills
Equal access to acoustic information
Note taking assistance
Compatibility with other FM technology transmitting on 216 MHZ
Accessibility during meeting and everyday communication in the workplace
Voice output to interact during discussions and conversations
Quick Say feature to pre-program responses
Quick access to email, web pages, technical documents created in various
applications using the iText tool
Employer provides accessibility under the A.D.A

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Government

Scenario 1: A person who is deaf wishes to have a private conversation with his counselor about disability, employment, and other personal issues. The iCommunicator could be the solution to offer the individual the desired privacy in this sensitive communication situation.

Scenario 2: An individual who is hard of hearing and recovering from a stroke makes a visit to the Social Security Office and becomes frustrated when both receptive and expressive communication barriers exist. This governmental office could find that an iCommunicator provides the solution to the communication accessibility problem this citizen is experiencing.

Scenario 3: Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing often need to utilize the resources of personnel in the family court system. Providing accessibility by using the iCommunicator will provide equal and immediate access to services. There may be some instances where a live interpreter will be needed, but the iCommunicator could be used for handling many interchanges of information with persons who are deaf or hard of hearing who require assistance through the family court system. Prepared documents can also be loaded on the computer and individuals can have the information signed and/or spoken to them along with the text presentation.

Scenario 4: A government employee who is deaf finds daily communication with peers and supervisors to be challenging. He feels he is missing information. Many times information is conveyed by writing notes or by having co-workers over-articulate messages, which makes it difficult for an individual to adequately read. The employee identifies that the iCommunicator will enhance his ability to communicate with co-workers and supervisors on a daily basis. However, for highly interactive meetings, a live interpreter or other means of accessibility may be needed. In addition, the iText tool allows the employee to have email, technical documents, etc. read and/or signed to him, thereby allowing for multisensory access to information.

Benefits
Accessibility from clients and family members/caregivers
Independent communication in large and small group settings
Access to sign language
Immediate access to legal and technical documents using the iText tool
Equal access to orally delivered communication
Privacy and confidence in sensitive communication situations
Equal access to written/electronic communication
Governmental entity complies with the A.D.A. and /or Section 508 guidelines

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Healthcare

Scenario 1. A person with a severe hearing loss wishes to meet privately with his healthcare team to discuss options for the treatment of a debilitating health condition. This person wants to clearly understand everything that is being discussed so that he/she can make an informed decision about treatment. An iCommunicator could be the best solution, in that a member of the healthcare team who has a speech/voice recognition file on the system could serve as the facilitator during the private and sensitive discussion. The person with hearing loss could read the speech-to-text translation onscreen and be provided with a print copy of the conversation for later reference.

Scenario 2. At 3:30 a.m. a person who is deaf and in need of immediate medical intervention comes to the emergency room of a small community hospital. There is no sign language interpreter available to facilitate the communication process. In this instance, trained hospital staff could use the iCommunicator to begin the intake process, take the history information, and convey critically important health care information to the patient who requires clarification in sign language. There will be times when it is not the patient who is deaf or hard-of-hearing, but the parent or caregiver accompanying the person in need of healthcare services. In these instances the iCommunicator could be used to provide communication access and assist with the intake and initial nursing assessment. Using the iText tool, informational healthcare documents can be signed and/or read to the individual.

Scenario 3. A parent, who is deaf, brings her child to the County Health Department Clinic. She is concerned because her child seems very ill, perhaps with another acute middle ear infection. Staff at the health department use the iCommunicator to initiate the intake process. The staff has found additional uses for the iCommunicator in this setting, particularly in the social service area. It has helped clients and their caregivers receive information and participate in meetings on topics that are critical to their health and well being.

Scenario 4. An individual residing in a rehabilitation setting is recovering from traumatic brain injury and exhibiting various problems associated with the cognitive retraining and expressive communication processes. The individual becomes frustrated over the inability to spontaneously communicate with healthcare providers or successfully write notes. Rehabilitation specialists may find that the iCommunicator's features are a good match and provide an appropriate solution for this individual's unique communication needs.

Benefits
Accessibility for clients and family members/caregivers
Access to communication about healthcare status in emergency situations
Independent communication in large and small group settings
Access to sign language and speech-to text translation
Access to technical and healthcare documents using the iText tool
Equal access to orally delivered communication
Privacy and confidence in sensitive communication situations

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Public Library

Scenario 1. The public library employs several individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and it is difficult for them to participate in staff meetings, training sessions, and typical conversation during the workday. The availability of an iCommunicator in the library would allow these workers equal access and also allow them to easily communicate with other persons during the course of their workday.

Scenario 2. The public library staff is interested in introducing young children to sign language as part of the children's story hour. Several children with hearing loss also attend these literacy development sessions. The children's librarian or a trained volunteer could easily use the iCommunicator to introduce children with normal hearing to sign language and at the same time provide accessibility for the children with hearing loss, which would enable all of the children to benefit from the literacy development activity.

Benefits
Independent communication in accessing information
Equal access to orally delivered communication
Access to sign language
Learn fundamental sign language
Privacy in sensitive communication situations
Communication tool for training sessions and meetings

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