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User Stories

Meet the people whose lives we've changed

Our goal is to make a difference in our client's lives. Here are some real stories of how Forbes AAC devices helped change the quality of life for these users. Want to share your own AAC story? Contact our Marketing Manager at toms@forbesaac.com or our Educational Program Developer at katiet@forbesaac.com to share a testimonial!

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Wayne S.

WinSlate with Enable Eyes™ user

Wayne Sturm is a veteran with MS who relies on a power wheelchair for mobility. Understanding the specific needs and difficulties faced by individuals like Wayne is essential in providing them with the right support and assistive technologies that can significantly improve their quality of life. Wayne's referral to Forbes AAC was made by Cassy Cook, an Occupational Therapist at the VAMC in St. Louis.

It's truly inspiring to hear about Wayne and his positive attitude, as well as the incredible technology that is helping him lead a more accessible and fulfilling life. The WinSlate with EnableEyes is an assistive device, enabling Wayne to communicate and control various aspects of his environment using his hands, eyes, or a head mouse. It's truly heartwarming to see how Wayne's WinSlate with EnableEyes allows him to open his garage access door, perform various tasks with just a simple glance, and connect with his beloved dogs - a pug named Kirby and a German shepherd named Gracie. This technology not only enhances Wayne's daily life but also strengthens his bond with his furry companions, making it a truly remarkable and patient-centered solution.

Wayne's philosophy of "There's an app for that" reflects his determination to find solutions to any challenges he faces, and it's a testament to his resilience and adaptability. His ability to remain positive and find joy in everything he does is truly inspiring. Wayne's story is a reminder that technology can be a powerful tool for enhancing the lives of individuals with different abilities, and it's wonderful to see the positive impact it has had on Wayne's life.

Expressing gratitude for the hospitality provided by Wayne and his wife, Lisa, is a wonderful way to acknowledge their warm and generous gesture. Sharing a homemade meal with the Forbes AAC Staff not only fosters a sense of camaraderie but also highlights the importance of building personal connections in a patient-centered approach. It's heartwarming to see the appreciation for the hospitality shown by Wayne and Lisa, and it undoubtedly contributes to a positive and supportive environment for all involved.

Pam H.

WinSlate with Enable Eyes™ user

Here is a wonderful story directly from a new WinSlate with EnableEyes user that really encompasses what Forbes AAC is really all about.

“My name is Pamela Hardy. I am 63 years young. I was diagnosed with Bulbar ALS in February of 2021. I was told I had 2-4 months to live and I am almost going on three years. I believe in Jesus and have been baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost since 1981. He has healed me after 8 miscarriages and I had a son Austin. I had melanoma 3 times and He healed me. I have had Breast Cancer and even the oncologist said that Jesus healed me. My God can do it again with ALS. I praise and worship Jesus for healing me. That is Faith. 

With a terminal disease, you have to remain positive and become better not bitter.  You are bigger than the disease. You have Jesus’ power to speak to the symptoms to be gone as Jesus would. I want to inspire people to have Faith, believe in Jesus and pray knowing He is in control. Whether He heals me down here or in Heaven, I have peace knowing I have hope in The Resurrection Jesus Christ. Share it. Tell it. Praise Him. Worship Him Through it ALL.”

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Ali W.

SoundPOD™ super fan

In Ali's own words; "I have used AAC ever since I was a child and throughout the years, none of my devices on their own were loud enough to be heard in loud settings. I have been using an iPhone’s speaker with a text-to-speech application and have been looking for a good Bluetooth speaker for it for over a year now.

I met a Forbes AAC rep at the Assistive Technology Industry Association conference this past year and he showed me the wearable
SoundPod speaker I potentially could use. I was able to test it out briefly at the conference and he recently sent one for me to have!  I have used the SoundPod for a week now, and it has been great! The speaker itself is small and portable and the volume is just what I needed. It can be adjusted easily for the environment I am in - whether it’s a quiet setting or a loud one.  Because the speaker is small, it can be quite versatile- allowing users to attach it to a lanyard, wristband,  phone, or tablet. It’s just what I needed and was so easy to set up and incorporate into my day-to-day life!" We could have not said it better! Thanks Ali!

Nolan M.

ProSlate™ user

This story is from our friend Nolan M. It’s about his device and the best warranty in the industry. During a family vacation at Magic Kingdom in Disney World, he and his family stopped on a bridge to decide on ‘another ride or go get supper’. All the sudden, Nolan’s mom looked over to see him throw his “talker” up into the air and over the railing into the water below!  

 

After the surprise and shock - the Magic Kingdom staff jumped into action to retrieve his ProSlate from the water. The staff got a long pole and tried to hook the neck strap from on the bridge. They ended up having to climb the fence, go down to the shore and fish it out with the neck strap. Amazingly, it was still on at the bottom of the water! After it was fished out, the ProSlate still worked!

 

However, once the battery died and typical of almost every computing device, the ProSlate would no longer take a charge. Nolan and his family were devastated!  This was how Nolan communicated … they were worried they would have to buy a new one or pay for costly repairs. The family called Forbes AAC the next morning and were relieved to find out it was still under warranty because the warranty was for five years! They were on year four. What a huge relief to hear it would be covered and that allowed the family to enjoy the rest of their vacation without worry to know a new ProSlate was on the way!

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Glowing in the water!

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Fishing for the ProSlate!

Nolan talking after the staff

'caught' his ProSlate!

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Frank R.

WinSlate with Enable Eyes™ user

We would like to introduce our new friend Frank R. He is a courageous veteran battling ALS that we connected with through the Atlanta VA. He and his wife, Terry, chose the WinSlate 12 with EnableEyes for his and their communication needs. Frank’s device was set up for text-to-speech communication, emailing, texting and phone conversation and helped Frank communicate with his family and friends. Right now, he is in the process of making frequently used phrases and sentences that he will often use, such as hungry, thirsty, bathroom, pain, itch, etc. 

 

Our happy staff, who may not be the best selfie takers—were able to program his remote for a Smart TV so that he can control it to make Roku selections. Our crew also set up a wheelchair mount so that the WinSlate can be with him on his Powerchair and set up a rolling floor mount so that he can utilize the device in bed as well. That made Frank smile.

Joe K.

WinSlate with Adapta module user

Say ‘hello’ to the star of our new WinSlate promotional video "Making Life Possible", Joe K. He has been diagnosed with the onset of ALS and never afraid of a fight, this veteran needed an adaptable device that could be easily modified to meet his needs as his condition progresses.

Joe uses the WinSlate with the Adapta multi-port module that has built in IR capabilities to do everything he needs; like getting the door for his wife, changing the channel, or playing a movie to emailing, phone and texting. His WinSlate is super portable, going from the tabletop to the wheelchair mount with ease. It can be fitted with the optional EnableEyes eye tracking module when the need arises. When his family members are in other rooms around the house, he speaks to them using the SoundPod wearable and portable speaker. Joe also takes advantage of the XTNDR Battery Pack which keeps his WinSlate going and going.

With his fortitude and drive Joe is even taking college courses to understand what he can expect with ALS and the treatments. He is quite inspiring to us all!

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Natalee D.

WinSlate with Enable Eyes™ user

Natalee was a perfect candidate for the WinSlate with the EnableEyes eye tracking module! When she was visited by our staff for her fitting, she was positioned in her chair and the device mounted appropriately. Being the trooper she is, Natalee knew she was in control of the toys as soon as the session started. The robot, used in the session, was placed on the table with her at an angle so she could see both the screen of the WinSlate as well as the toy.

Amazingly, this was the first time she was exposed to her own device since her evaluation. She was choosing an action or command on the screen and after she heard it 'read', she would immediately take her gaze from the device to the toy. When the toy stopped, she then would go right back and choose a new command!

Natalee was also looking back and forth between her mom, and truly having a blast! She was smiling and laughing and most importantly, she was loving it! Natalee will have a great future and many more successes with her WinSlate and we are thrilled to have her as a user.

Kyran M.

WinSlate 12D with Enable Eyes™ user

This is our new friend Kyran. He has a new WinSlate with the Adapta multifunctional port due to his low intelligibility when he speaks. Kyran is verbal, you just cannot understand what he is saying due to his condition.

Kyran was already a real pro at utilizing his head array to control his power wheelchair, so all involved were very confident he would pick up on using the Winslate quickly! And everybody was right! He first was exposed to accessing the device using 2-step switch scanning with switches placed at both his right and left temples. Using his great head control, Kyran immediately began to show just how smart he is by navigating across a standard keyboard on the screen to type out his name, his therapist’s name, and various words/phrases by using the switch on his right side to scan through the letters then selecting his target with the switch on his left.

It was obvious how proud he was of himself by the smile plastered across his face! Following the switch scanning, he enjoyed trialing a different access method, eye tracking. Kyran was then introduced to controlling the Winslate with his eyes using the EnableEyes module. Again, he quickly figured this out and was navigating through multiple page sets with ease, engaging with interactive games, and making requests. We look forward to hearing about his progress and successes with the WinSlate for years to come!

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Carrie L.

WinSlate 12™ user

​Meet Carrie, she is an attorney in Colorado and Forbes AAC WinSlate 12 user. In a courtroom setting she utilizes TextTalker on her WinSlate. Carrie started using her AAC device a few months ago due to a progression with her disability.

 

She uses TextTalker on her Winslate and recently, Carrie presented an oral argument before a three judge panel of an appeals court. She mentioned "the judges were a bit unsettled with the AAC device, but eased up toward the end of the argument". Carrie's grid for the argument was based off of a Fast Talker grid, and modified with some Text Talker elements.

The good news; with Carrie's hard work and WinSlate at hand, she was pleased to share that she won on behalf of her client! Click here to see Carrie in action.

Mr. L.

Winslate 12D with Enable Eyes™ user

Mr. L. is ‘one tough customer’ - this inspiring veteran has kept his fantastic sense of humor and remained upbeat throughout his journey with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS. Mr. L. uses the Forbes AAC system made up of the WinSlate 12 with the Enable Eyes, a state-of-the-art eye tracking device with superior motion tolerance. He has been using this system since 2016.

To make full and easy use of his device, Mr. L. utilizes a custom designed wheelchair mounting system provided by Forbes AAC.

Using Mr. L.’s ability to look at the screen and blink, he ‘speaks’ with his device. He loves to joke, converse and tell stories to his care givers and loved ones with simple eye movements.

We salute you Mr. L., you are truly an inspiration!

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Mr. D.

Winslate 12D with Enable Eyes™ user

Mr. D. originally hails from the great state of New Jersey, where he still has many family and friends. After he was diagnosed with ALS, Mr. D quickly lost use of his speech; he has been using the WinSlate 12 with Enable Eyes for communication since 2018.

 

A custom designed wheelchair mount system from Forbes AAC keeps his device in the perfect position and allows him easy access in and out for the chair.

He loves to tell jokes and always has a kind word for everyone - and in true Italian fashion, always offers you food when you visit!  Forbes AAC’s EnableEyes module allows Mr. D. to type on his device’s predictive keyboard or select pre-stored messages simply by looking at buttons on the screen. An application also pairs Mr. D.’s cell phone to the WinSlate, allowing him to call and text anyone using only his eyes!

Taylor D.

ProSlate 4D™ user

This photo of Taylor shows her as a contestant in the Miss Amazing Pageant, a program for girls and women with disabilities that started in 2007. Her ProSlate™ AAC device was an integral part of her interview process with the judges.

 

Taylor has Autism and is nonverbal. She has used many types of AAC devices, but her ProSlate 4D is the first device that she has loved because of its lightweight feel and smartphone appearance. As Taylor says, "the innovative SoundPOD™ speaker is so versatile," because she can remove it from her device while playing games or just chatting, and the easily adjustable volume saves time conversing. The ProSlate 4D has helped Taylor participate in all types of social settings and everyday conversation, and her vocabulary is constantly increasing. Her mother loves when Taylor approaches her to put in new words. "The ProSlate 4D has made a huge difference in her wanting to communicate with others," her mother says.

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Anthony L.

Winslate 12D with Enable Eyes™ user

In his own words, here is Anthony's story:

"Living with this disease has been a challenge, to say the least. ALS is a prison, and I felt the walls closing in as I gradually lost the ability to communicate with my family and friends. Thanks to Forbes AAC, I've broken out of that prison. Using Enable Eyes with my WinSlate 12D, I'm able to effectively communicate and stay engaged with my family and community. I can keep in touch through email and social media. I can blog, play games, and surf the web. Anything someone can do with a mouse, I can do with my eyes. The technology is amazing, and the people at Forbes AAC have been amazing too. It's way more than a communication device, it's my link to the outside world. it's my freedom."

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