Augmentative and Alternative Communication Skills

"About AAC 

You may have seen someone write in a notebook to answer a question. Maybe you have seen people using sign language or other gestures. You may have seen someone push buttons on a computer that speaks for them. These are all forms of augmentative and alternative communication, or AAC. 

AAC includes all of the ways we share our ideas and feelings without talking. We all use forms of AAC every day. You use AAC when you use facial expressions or gestures instead of talking. You use AAC when you write a note and pass it to a friend or coworker. We may not realize how often we communicate without talking.  

People with severe speech or language problems may need AAC to help them communicate. Some may use it all of the time. Others may say some words but use AAC for longer sentences or with people they don’t know well. AAC can help in school, at work, and when talking with friends and family.  "


Bed Lifts

"Vidir’s Bedlift is a cost effective hospital bed storage system designed to store hospital beds off of the floor and stack them securely in a vertical arrangement, which not only saves valuable floor space but removes potential fire hazards from hospital corridor. This hospital bed storage rack will increase the hospitals maintenance departments’ capacity, organization, and product flow reducing down time, which increases the number of beds available for patient use at any given moment. Additionally, by removing unused ‘hallway beds’ from the corridors, hospitals will meet JCAHO standards for the storage of hospital beds and not risk further fines or worst case, the loss of accreditation.


The bed stacking concept is based on LIFO picking, the first bed is positioned onto the lift and raised opening up space underneath the bed for the next unit. The entire operation can easily be accomplished by a single individual simply by pushing a button."


Bundles for the Better


"Norman Regional Health System is bundling its equipment purchasing to reduce costs and improve care. 

The Oklahoma-based provider previously had a fragmented purchasing process where it would place similar equipment orders by department or by facility. Now, the organization has aligned the acquisition process.

"Instead of buying one and two equipment orders here and there, we want to bundle them together to act strategically," said John Kott, supply chain director at Norman Regional. "This approach will provide value to both the suppliers and our organization through reduced transaction costs, better forecasting and enhanced strategic alignment."

Norman Regional partnered with OpenMarkets, whose software helps hospitals and suppliers improve the equipment procurement process and better manage requests, workflow, budgeting, data and communication across the organization, Kott said. "


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Christmas Angels!

For the 2nd year in a row, AlphaSleep and AlphaMed has participated in the Angel Tree program at the Isaac Lane School in Jackson. The program is sponsored by Express Employment Professionals in Jackson, owned by Ronnie and Susan Morris. 



"Arthritis means joint inflammation, but the term is used to describe around 200 conditions that affect joints, the tissues that surround the joint, and other connective tissue. It is a rheumatic condition.

The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Other common rheumatic conditions related to arthritis include gout, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Rheumatic conditions tend to involve pain, aching, stiffness, and swelling in and around one or more joints. The symptoms can develop gradually or suddenly. Certain rheumatic conditions can also involve the immune system and various internal organs of the body.

Some forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (SLE), can affect multiple organs and cause widespread symptoms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 54.4 million adults in the United States have received a diagnosis of some form of arthritis. Of these, 23.7 million people have their activity curtailed in some way by their condition.

Arthritis is more common among adults aged 65 years or older, but it can affect people of all ages, including children."


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Best Walking Canes!

"Walking canes are designed to help people with mobility issues improve their balance and walk safely. There are dozens of canes available on the market today, but not all of them are created equal.

If you’re shopping for a new cane and want a model that’s both stable and durable, we’re going to help you find the right one for your needs. These seven walking canes top our list as the best available.

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Vive’s adjustable quad cane offers stability and a customized fit, with the ability to adjust the height between 28″ and 37″ in one-inch increments.

The cane features a heavy-gauge anodized body to provide maximum durability while remaining lightweight. The heavy-duty body can support up to 300 pounds, and the cane’s four feet allow for greater stability in use."


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Happy Thanksgiving!

"Turkey, a Thanksgiving staple so ubiquitous it has become all but synonymous with the holiday, may or may not have been on offer when the Pilgrims hosted the inaugural feast in 1621. Today, however, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat the bird—whether roasted, baked or deep-fried—on Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation. Other traditional foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Volunteering is a common Thanksgiving Day activity, and communities often hold food drives and host free dinners for the less fortunate.

Parades have also become an integral part of the holiday in cities and towns across the United States. Presented by Macy’s department store since 1924, New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade is the largest and most famous, attracting some 2 to 3 million spectators along its 2.5-mile route and drawing an enormous television audience. It typically features marching bands, performers, elaborate floats conveying various celebrities and giant balloons shaped like cartoon characters."


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Making the Switch!

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"For many SCI survivors, recapturing independence is your single most significant achievement. You view any concessions to that independence - accepting more help, using more or different equipment - as giving up, as failure, as the ultimate defeat. But it's hard to deny the fatigue and pain that may come from years of pushing a manual chair. Switching to a power chair actually could be the way to maintain that independence.

Symptoms & Signs:

Accepting change is rarely easy. Many survivors choose to ignore the signals which indicate that a power chair would be appropriate for them. Picturing themselves in a power chair or admitting they might need one can be one of the most difficult adjustments for those with SCI. Physical therapists say there are three major issues that result in symptoms which cause people to make equipment changes: level of injury, number of years post injury and age. These three factors often interact, and they result in:

  • lower strength or function
  • increased pain
  • decreased mobility
  • weight gain or loss
  • less activity
  • skin sores
  • posture problems
  • fatigue
  • aging of the primary care givers"

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Best Selling Hot/Cold Therapy Units!

"When it comes to injuries and pain relief, there really is no better aid than heating and cooling agents. Both have their place and can rapidly influence things like inflammation, swelling, sensory nerve response and so forth.


But what heating and cooling agents are best to recommend to patients?

There are a number of options, each of them are designed for specific applications. So I've compiled a list of the best selling heating and cooling packs and therapy units, along with some of the benefits of each and the types of situations they are best suited to.

As a registered physiotherapist and clinic owner in Toronto, I treat a variety of patients (sports, wcb, mva, private) and believe in offering complete care at my own practice. Offering “complete care” includes recommending helpful advice and products that can boost your patient’s recovery.

Today I want to share my opinion on what I like/don’t like about CSC's top 10 best selling hot packs and cold therapy units, as well as which type of patients are most suited for these products so we can better help clinicians offer complete care for your practice."


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The Guide!


"A health policy specialist recently spoke to a community audience about the difficult ethical problems facing family members when serious illness strikes a close relative. After the talk a woman in the audience approached the speaker and said, "That was very interesting. May I ask a question?" "Of course," the speaker replied, "What is it?" The woman said, "Where can I get extra large adult diapers for my mother?"

This incident illustrates two points. First, the basic needs of elderly or ill people must be addressed before they or their family members can think about more abstract or long-term issues. Second, it is very difficult to obtain information about meeting these basic needs, especially when it comes to finding the right products or supplies. The policies and practices of third-party payers - whether private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid - are often confusing and inconsistent. Nevertheless, with a little persistence and some basic information, you can become a more knowledgeable and satisfied consumer. The reward will be an improved quality of life for both the elderly person and the caregiver."

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Blood Cleansing

"The technique: A microfluidic device filled with magnetic nanometer-sized beads that bind a plethora of pathogens and toxins was able to clear these invaders from the blood of rats with sepsis, improving their outcomes, according to a paper published today (September 14) in Nature Medicine. The design of the extracorporeal device was inspired by the small vessels and sinusoids within the spleen, through which blood “trickles slowly, almost like in a wetlands, efficiently capturing pathogens” said lead study author Donald Ingber, a professor at Harvard Medical School and founding director of the Wyss Institute in Boston.

The device has two interconnected channels, one for the flowing blood and another containing a saline solution that traps and removes the pathogens. Magnetic nanobeads coated with a genetically engineered version of the mannose binding lectin (MBL) protein—which has a natural proclivity for foreign toxins and bugs, and normally functions as part of the mammalian innate immune system—are injected into the flowing blood before it enters the device."

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Medical Advancements & Coffee?


"When a team of Vanderbilt University engineers sought a way to improve the reliability of positioning systems used in delicate nose and throat surgeries, coffee was the solution. Coffee grounds, that is.

The engineers designed a "granular jamming cap" filled with coffee grounds. The grounds form a thin layer inside a stretchy silicone cap adorned with reflective dots. Once on the patient's head, the cap is attached to a vacuum pump that sucks the air out, causing the grounds to conform closely to the contours of the patient's scalp.

Before the surgery begins, a scanner maps the precise location of each reflective dot relative to key features on the patient's head. During surgery, an overhead camera observes the position of the dots, allowing the navigation system to accurately track the position of the patient's head as the surgeon moves it. A monitor in the operating room displays the data in combination with a CT scan and the position of the surgeon's instruments for a 3-D view inside the patient's head.

This technology could replace one using markers that are taped to the head. That method is subject to slipping and jarring—movements that can cause large tracking errors during surgery. The coffee grounds approach has been found to reduce targeting errors by 83%."

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In Flight!


"You're seated in an aircraft, flying at 30,000 feet across the country to attend an EMS conference. Unexpectedly, you hear a chime, and the flight attendant makes the announcement made popular by episodes of "Rescue 911" and other medical drama shows: "Is there a medical professional on board this aircraft?" Will you volunteer your knowledge and skills on this flight? Do you know what supplies and resources are available to you?

Every year, more than 500 million Americans travel by air in the U.S. (1) Medical emergencies aboard aircrafts are inevitable, and an estimated one per 10–40,000 passengers will experience one. (2) With commercial air traffic increasing, these emergencies are expected to become more frequent as the percentage of older people increases. (3) Although flight attendants are required to undergo initial and recurrent training on aviation medicine, first aid, CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) usage every 12–24 months, EMTs, paramedics and other medical professionals can still provide valuable assessment and treatment to passengers who become ill in flight. (4,5) EMS providers should be aware of the legal protections afforded to them as Good Samaritans of the sky, along with equipment and technologies aboard aircrafts that will assist in providing patient care."

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Equipment Care


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""When a person is hungry and you give him a fish, his hunger is satisfied for that occasion. If you teach him how to catch a fish, it can take care of his hunger for the rest of his life.” This is a teaching principle that is often repeated, and one that is also very useful in the maintenance of medical equipment.

The instruments and equipment used in modern eye care have become very sophisticated and expensive. Keeping them in good working condition can become a nightmare, especially if hospitals are located in places where there is little service support from manufacturers or suppliers. These items can fail to work unexpectedly and the resultant downtime can compromise outcomes and patient safety.

An important fact about instruments and equipment is that, when manufactured by well-established firms and supplied by reliable dealers, they seldom fail, provided they are maintained as described in the user manual."

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Gut Feeling!


"The circadian clock is, in fact, a "collection" of biological clocks in the body, playing an important role in metabolism. These clocks regulate the individual's various biological rhythms in accordance with the 24-hour day-night cycle.

The researchers, led by Dr. Lora Hooper of UT Southwestern, noticed that the gut microbiome is able to "hack" into and influence the intestinal circadian clock, thus impacting how much fat, or lipids, is absorbed by and stored in the body.

"There is accumulating evidence," explains lead study author Yuhao Wang, a UT Southwestern graduate student, "that certain bacteria that live in our gut might predispose us to gain weight, especially when we consume a high-fat, high-sugar 'Western-style' diet.""


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BMET Programs

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"As it prepares to launch a new program in Nigeria, Engineering World Health today announced the results of two peer-reviewed evaluations demonstrating the profound impact their Biomedical Engineering Technician (BMET) program has had on the repair of critical medical equipment and technician productivity in the developing world.

"We are thrilled that our BMET program is having a very real impact on access to critical medical equipment in the developing world," said Leslie Calman, PhD, CEO of Engineering World Health. "The results of these two studies indicate that our mission of building sustainable workforces of trained BMETs in-country will increase access to life-saving medical care and higher standards of care for years to come."

Focus on global health often centers on a call for biomedical technology and tools. However, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Engineering, approximately 72% of hospital equipment in sub-Saharan Africa cannot be used for patient care because it is in disrepair, delaying surgical procedures and other critical treatment."

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