Sensact

Sensors & Tools

Sensact is a device that is designed to interface with Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) tools developed at Bruyère. AACs are tools made at Bruyère to help patients with disabilities communicate with the world around them. They are tailor-made to accommodate the specific communicative challenges of each patient.

Due to the highly individualistic nature of these devices, their configuration can be labor-intensive and time-consuming. Sensact will help in this regard by offering a generic user-interface through which AAC devices can be configured.

Bocar NDiaye

Sensact is a device that is designed to interface with Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) tools developed at Bruyère. AACs are tools made at Bruyère to help patients with disabilities communicate with the world around them. They are tailor-made to accommodate the specific communicative challenges of each patient.

Due to the highly individualistic nature of these devices, their configuration can be labor-intensive and time-consuming. Sensact will help in this regard by offering a generic user-interface through which AAC devices can be configured.

A patient came to the Bruyère AAC service when her illness had left her unable to speak. She also had a limited capacity to move her arms and hands. However, with the help of a custom-built AAC tool, she was able to communicate again.

Her device featured only a single button, to make it easy to control with her limited strength. With this button she was able to select letters on a screen to write messages to the people around her. Using this method, she was able to write an entire poem. The poem is called A Voice, and it describes how her AAC device helped her find her voice again.

A Voice

What a wondrous thing the voice.  A multilayered connection with the world. A dialogue past, present and future. Both intimate and general, creative and healing.  A representation of who you are and what you think, feel, know, want and love.  It passes through the mystical separation that divides all people.  So when you lose your voice, what then?  This amazing beautiful, necessary gift.  What then?  What then?
The AAC communication computer is the what and now is the then.  A multifaceted save-the- day miracle. Only recently available in time for me.  Now I can talk through printing.  Erase it, print it, or send and receive emails. You have control through the AAC device of your television thus keeping you current and entertained.  AHA! Access to the Internet – Avenue Unlimited.  The human brain needs stimulation, relationship, creativity and communication. These opportunities are available with slight pressure of your thumb.  You are never so vulnerable as you are without a voice, but the AAC device can be your new wonderful voice.
The AAC device will bring some major losses I haven’t mentioned.  The loss of frustration, of anger, of hopelessness in regards to your ability to be heard and independent.  There are personalized benefits – in my case I can continue writing poetry and print or save them.  Another person may wish to write stories or journal things one finds worthwhile.