Augmentative Communication Equipment Loan Program

Most people with ALS will experience difficulty with speech as their illness progresses. Some will ultimately lose the ability to speak, which can be frustrating and emotionally difficult. Using alternative and augmented communication (AAC) technology can greatly improve the quality of life of people with ALS.

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) includes systems such as symbol or picture boards, communication boards, laser pointers, voice amplifiers, and electronic devices with synthesized speech (known as Speech Generating devices - SGDs).

AAC is usually not fully covered by insurance, or it may take a very long time for a person to receive approval for AAC items. Families often cannot provide adequate care to their loved one without the ability to communicate, as they wait for their insurance plan to determine eligibility.

To support these individuals and families, the ALS Network provides an AAC Equipment Loan program, free-of-charge, to meet both light tech and high tech needs. This program supports those families who do not have coverage through health insurance, have high-out-pocket deductibles, and/or do not otherwise have the means to pay for it themselves.

The goal of the AAC Equipment Loan Program is to implement timely strategies and proactive steps that will enable people with ALS to maintain optimal communication. To qualify, a person must have ALS or a related diagnosis, reside within the ALS Network area, and be unable to obtain these items through other means.

Some examples of AAC technology offered through this program include (as available):

  • Voice amplifiers
  • Communication boards
  • Laser pointers
  • Adaptive switches
  • Headtrackers and eye trackers
  • Speech Generating Devices (SGDs)
  • SGD mounts

To learn more about our AAC equipment program, please reach out to your care manager, or contact 818-865-8067.