Augmentative Communication and Assistive Technology Program

The Augmentative Communication and Assistive Technology Program serves all people living with ALS in the State of Oregon and SW Washington, at no cost. This was the first care services program the organization created over 20 years ago because we understand the importance of being able to communicate and interact with friends and family. Thankfully, modern technology offers many solutions. Please don't hesitate to contact our specialist for support.

Communication support offered for people with ALS

Speech: Speech strategy training to maximize intelligibility of speech.

Voice: Trialing personal amplifiers to boost loudness while minimizing effort.

Communication Systems: Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) might include rapid access systems such as dry-erase boards or letter boards, or high-tech systems such as iPads or Speech-Generating Devices.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication Equipment Loan Program

ALS Northwest maintains a selection of augmentative communication and assistive technology equipment available to all people living with ALS in our region, free of charge. This program is designed to provide people living with ALS with technology that can help with communication, computer and telephone access, and safety.

The equipment we maintain is sustained by donations. New donations of equipment are appreciated, please call to inquire about accepted items. Examples may include: personal amplifiers, laptop computers, iPads, switches, digital recorders, and Bluetooth speakers. If you are interested in donating wheelchairs and other medical equipment, please call our main office at (503) 238-5559 ext 100.

Assistive Technology

ALS impacts not only people living with the disease, but also their caregivers and loved ones. Every person affected is different, and ALS presents in various ways. Assistive technology can include a variety of tools and devices that improve quality of life, such as communication devices that allow people with ALS to communicate with ease, despite all their limitations.

Examples of communication devices:

  • Speech-generating devices (SGDs): Electronic devices that use a synthesized voice. SGDs are accessed in various ways, including eye gaze, touch, and switch-activation, among others.
  • Eye gaze control systems: SGDs that use eye movement to select letters and words on a computer to synthesize speech.
  • Writing tablets: Devices used to communicate when people still have the ability to write.
  • Text to-speech software: Computer programs or smart phone apps that convert text to speech.

Communication devices are categorized into two segments: dedicated and undedicated. A dedicated device is strictly a communication device in that the only function it performs is speech generation. Undedicated devices, which are computer based, not only speak, but also feature all the functions of a regular computer, such as word processing, email, internet access, among other applications.

Assistive Technology Resources

Ashley Loyning, MS, CCC-SLP

Ashley Loyning, MS, SLP is the Assistive Technology Services Coordinator. Ashley works with people with ALS to find the communication technology that works for them.

You can reach Ashley at or 503-765-7635

Our Care Services