Centro Maya: share a dream with us!
Organized by: Elise Morano
February 09, 2016
What is Centro Maya Servio Integral?
Centro Maya Servicio Integral is a Guatemalan NGO that provides integral services for people with disabilities in the Lake Atitlán region of Guatemala, working mostly with Maya Quiche, Tzutujil and Kakchiquel peoples.
Centro Maya offers free services, including therapies (psychology and speech and physiotherapy), music and art classes, special education, labor inclusion, a medical support program and a nutrition program, among others. Currently the center serves over 150 people with a wide age-range, working with a team of local professionals, trained staff and some volunteers. Each person attending the center has an individualized plan created to fit their needs and abilities.
You can check out the Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/Asociacion-Centro-Maya-Servicio-Integral-113293115411744/
What is Augmentative and Alternative Communication and who needs it at Centro Maya?
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is a broad term that encompasses communication methods used by people with impairments in spoken language to supplement or replace speech or writing. AAC is used by those with a wide range of speech and language impairments, including congenital impairments such as cerebral palsy, intellectual impairment and autism. AAC can be a permanent addition to a person's communication or a temporary aid.
At Centro Maya, five patients use AAC as their main form of communication and ten patients benefit from AAC as a therapeutic aid. In order to best serve patients who use this method of communication, Centro Maya needs IPads downloaded with AAC applications, Proloquo2Go and Dime. This IPad will be used in the center as a therapeutic aid and hard copy forms of the patient’s vocabulary and pictograms will be printed out from the application so that they can continue to communicate outside of designated therapy time.
How did you choose the ACC applications Proloquo2Go and Dime and how do they work?
“Proloquo2Go is an award-winning symbol-supported communication app providing a voice to over 125,000 individuals who cannot speak. It is designed to promote growth of communication skills and foster language development through research-based vocabularies. Its innovative features provide support for parents, teachers and therapists to implement AAC best practices.
Proloquo2Go is one of the few AAC apps that covers all users, from beginning to advanced communicators, while catering for a wide range of fine-motor, visual and cognitive skills.”
“Dime is aimed at those with a physical disability and or mental impairment that prevents them from communicating with their environment. By using this tool, the user has access to simple, intuitive menus through which he or she can express needs and concerns at every moment.”
Our speech therapist choose Proloquo2Go and Dime as opposed to other AAC applications due to the fact that they are available in Spanish, which is key seeing as all patients at the center are Spanish speakers. Another deciding factor was that vocabulary and settings can be customized for each individual patient, allowing it to be used in the center for many therapy patients.
Some of the patients benefiting the most from these IPads with AAC apps are:
Rosalia is twenty four years old. She has been coming to Centro Maya for most of her life for Cerebral Palsy therapies. While her communication has improved greatly, speech remains difficult for her. What she is able to verbalize is difficult for others to understand due to a jaw deformity. As of now, the extent of her verbalization is “yes” and “no”. Rosalia will use the AAC application to express her basic needs like food, bathroom, and pain, giving her greater agency and independence.
Oxmaq is eight years old and has cri-du-chat syndrome. Oxmaq shows intent of communication, however he is not yet able to verbalize his needs. He has started to use printed pictograms for communication; however, an IPad will add a great amount of words to his vocabulary.
Ipad 1- Already Donated!
Ipad 2- Already Donated!
Ipad 3- $449
Applications Ipad 1- $380
Applications Ipad 2- $380
Applications Ipad 3- $380
Protector 1 - $89 Griffin Survivor Case
Protector 2 - $89 Griffin Survivor Case
Protector 3- $89 Griffin Survivor Case
Crowdfunding site fee- $5 percent of total
Any money raised beyond our goal will be used to improve communication for the users of Centro Maya’s services ranging from new AAC apps to the payment of the speech therapist's salary and training.