Title: Communication in times of natural or man-made emergencies: the potential of speech-generating devices

Authors: Diane Nelson Bryen

Addresses: Temple University, USA

Abstract: Communication is essential during man-made or natural emergencies. However, for millions of individuals worldwide who have significant communication disabilities, spoken language may not be effective or efficient. The purpose of this study is to identify the necessary vocabulary for communication in times of emergency. In order to do this, two online focus groups generated and prioritised this vocabulary. Once identified, this vocabulary can be incorporated into the design and manufacture of Speech-Generating Devices (SGDs). In addition, suggestions are provided to expand the role that SGDs might play in preparing for and responding to emergency situations.

Keywords: communication vocabulary; emergencies; communication disabilities; augmentative communication; alternative communication; AAC; speech-generating devices; SGDs; emergency management; disasters; emergency communications.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2010.032041

International Journal of Emergency Management, 2010 Vol.7 No.1, pp.17 - 27

Available online: 05 Mar 2010 *

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