communication ...with no functioning limbs

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New member
Aug 7, 2006
Loved one DX
I don't mean to piggyback on the last thread about communication, but my grandmother needs a communication device as well, as she is quickly losing her voice. However, she cannot lift her arms at all and can barely use her hands.

My ALS society person is on vacation too, and I intend to call the national chapter. But my mother is overwhelmed with things and I'm just trying to do all the background research on what might be best, since it seems when she talks with the doctors there is so much to take in.

Can anyone help me with this? Where to start? What devices are easy to use and and learn how to use?

Thanks so much!
My husband has a Vanguard II from Prentke-Romich, Inc. It came with an optional bracket to mount on wheeelchair, or when he is in his recliner he has it on a table we built to swing over his lap (you can buy overbed tables too). They first sent us a loaner rental unit so we could try it out--nice. It is really the only one we looked at, my husband did internet research to pick it out and our speech therapist recommended it. One great thing about it is that we programmed our 6 remotes for TV /stereo, etc in to it and he can control them all now with that unit. He uses an infrared head pointer that is a dot on his glasses that he 'steers' with. You can also use a wide variety of switches using feet or other body parts to control it...lots of options.
Their website is

It cost something like a whopping $8700 but Medicare and our other insurance paid for it. I couldnt believe how expensive it was!

They can be a little daunting at first if you are not techno-oriented, but I know the company has a lot of support classes and help available.

Good Luck --Beth (CALS to Shannon, age 42, diagnoseded 8/2004)
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