Inge Bonn is a long time consumer, volunteer and staff member of Access to Independence. She has a history here of more than 20 years. Three years ago she had a stroke and as a result her mobility was affected and she has been using a scooter, manual wheelchair and walker. Access to Independence gave her a manual wheelchair because Medicare would not purchase one since they had supplied her electric scooter. After falling in her home, she was sent to the hospital and then a skilled nursing facility several times in a row. After her last fall and another stroke, it became very difficult to verbally communicate with friends, family and facility staff. She also received a diagnosis of Parkinson Disease which makes communication even harder. Access to Independence Assistive Technology Service Coordinator Tom Riis assessed that Inge would benefit from using a simple augmentative communication device to help her verbalized what she wanted to say. After researching the devices that were available, it was determined that since she had very limited manual dexterity, a device called the GoTalk 9 communicator would help her speak by pre-recording messages and thoughts by easily touching a button on the device that was prerecorded. This allowed family and friends to hear what she wanted to say. It also enabled her to communicate in a way she was not able to do before. This device was purchased through a grant from the West Foundation Challenge Grant.
This has greatly improved her quality of life and independence.