Do You Have a Communication Disability? Disaster-related Problems?
If you have a disability and use AAC technology to communicate but had equipment lost or damaged in a hurricane or other major regional/national disaster, we can help.
If You Need AAC Help
If your AAC equipment has been lost or damaged, we can help you get a replacement at no cost. To begin that process, contact the US AAC Society (USSAAC) Disaster Relief Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org . Explain your disaster-related situation and share your contact information. We will then reach out to you to get more detailed information about your AAC needs.
“What Type of Help Can I Expect to Receive?”
The USSAAC AAC Disaster Relief Project can help you replace lost or damaged AAC devices (also called speech generating devices or SGDs), switches, mounting systems, and no-tech communication books/boards. We may also be able to help with batteries and chargers specific to AAC.
Assistance from this project is limited to individuals who live in the US and its territories.
Our focus is communication disability, specifically AAC. We are unable to provide financial or material assistance for things like:
- Rent and lodging
- Clothing and shoes
- Diapers, car seats, and formula
- Furniture, bedding, and household items
- Phones, cell phones, and cell phone plans
- Computers and laptops (unless needed for AAC)
- Consumer electronics, like TVs, radios, and stereos
- Medication, medical bills or supplies like catheters and needles
- Transportation (unless related to an AAC assessment) and vehicles
“I need AAC help. What do I do next?”
Contact the USSAAC Disaster Relief Committee at email@example.com. Provide the relevant information and your contact information so that a member of the committee can call you to learn more about your needs.
How to Volunteer
If you would like to volunteer your time or expertise to help those who lost AAC equipment in a national or regional disaster, email firstname.lastname@example.org. A USSAAC AAC Disaster Relief Committee member will follow up with you when there is a need that is a good match based on skills that are needed, location, etc.
Looking for additional resources to support people with disabilities in times of emergency? Visit the USSAAC Emergency page for a list of other helpful resources.
About the AAC Disaster Relief Project
The AAC Disaster Relief Project is an ongoing effort of the US AAC Society (USSAAC). Started in 2005 in response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, a group of AAC professionals first identified people who lost access to their AAC in this disaster, then assisted by replacing devices so that those individuals with complex communication needs once again were able to express their wants/needs, ask questions, give information, and get emotional support. Following the initial recovery period, this group turned their attention to building resilience in the AAC community affected by Katrina, hosting a full conference, AAC and All That Jazz, to further educate AAC professionals who serve this community on a long-term basis.
Since that time, the AAC Disaster Relief Committee has organized support for those affected by Hurricanes Harvey (Texas), Irma (Florida), Maria (Puerto Rico & the US Virgin Islands), Florence (the Carolinas), and Michael (southeastern US) as well as those impacted by massive wildfires in California.
Learn more about the impact of this project here.
“I’d Like to Donate.”
We welcome your assistance! The USSAAC AAC Disaster Relief Project is volunteer-powered and relies on donations from individuals, agencies, and corporations.
If you would like to support USSAAC’s efforts with a monetary donation, please contact us at email@example.com.
To donate Speech Generating Devices, AAC app codes, or other AAC-related items, use the same email address (firstname.lastname@example.org ). List the items you would like to donate, and we will get in touch with you when there is a need that matches your offer.
This work would not be possible without the generous support of these individuals and organizations.
- Prentke Romich Company/Saltillo
- Tobii Dynavox Company
- American Red Cross
- Talk to Me Technologies
- Romich Foundation
- Small Footprint
- The Bridge School
- American Red Cross
- ATinNH (New Hampshire’s Assistive Technology Act Program)
- Low Tech Solutions
- Pyramid Educational Consultants
- Talk To Me Technologies
- WATR (Wyoming’s Assistive Technology Act Program)
Contact us here.