Operation Speak Easier
Proceeds from the BIKE & HIKE for ALS will benefit the ALS Association of Arkansas and their efforts to help the PALS of the state, through a new initiative, “Operation Speak Easier.” “Operation Speak Easier’s” objective is to help those living with ALS to be able to communicate more effectively through speech devices.
As ALS progresses, speech becomes slurred. As time goes on, a person will not be able to speak at all. While there are “text to speech” devices and software programs on the market (you may even have one on your computer or phone), these only help so far. Eventually, once the ability to speak, point, gesture, or even move a computer mouse, go away, an ALS patient may only have the movement of their eyes or head to select the words or phrases they wish to speak.
Speaking devices, like the Tobii or Dynavox, can be only way an ALS patient can communicate. However, these devices are very expensive and are not completely covered by insurance (or sometimes at all.) In addition, it takes times to set up words and phrases on the machines and learn to operate it effectively.
Operation Speak Easier will help with both obtaining these devices, as well as the training to use them. We are currently building our committee team, along with help and support of ALS of Arkansas. If you are interested in learning more, or helping with this initiative, please contact us.