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Table 2 Characteristics of PI Group Members

From: Creativity in public involvement: supporting authentic collaboration and inclusive research with seldom heard voices

Underlying medical condition Gender Age category Type of AAC used Communication method Communication partner/facilitator during meetings
Cerebral palsy M 40–60 Tablet computer (Grid Pada); Grid 3 softwarea; switch access (joystick switch mounted on wheelchair) AAC device; Makaton sign; speech - single words/short sentences (slurred speech, understood by familiar listeners) Life partner attended all meetings and interpreted speech and sign on behalf of group member when these were used
Head injury M 18–40 Tablet computer (Grid Pada); Grid 3 softwarea; touch screen access AAC device; thumbs up/down for yes/no; no speech Speech and language therapist or key worker support: repeated and simplified instructions when necessary, encouraging group member to find appropriate vocabulary on screen, provided physical access to resources; informed group of when a message had been constructed on AAC.
Cerebral palsy M 18–40 Tablet computer (Mobi 2b); Mind Express softwarec; touch screen access AAC device; head nod/ shake for yes/no; no speech Speech and language therapist or key worker support: encouraged group member to find appropriate vocabulary on screen, supported physical access to resources
Cerebral palsy M 40–60 Tablet computer (Grid Pada); Grid 3 softwarea; eye-gaze access (eye-gaze camera integrated into computer) AAC device; eye movement for yes/no; no speech Personal assistant: informed the group when group member was constructing a message on AAC, supported with physical access resources
Primary Lateral Sclerosis M 60–80 Hand-held, dedicated communication aid device (Lightwriter Swiftd); Direct, manual access Speech – uses full sentences (often quiet and/or slurred); AAC device when speech is not understood for some single words and to provide information such as introductions Group facilitator would sometimes repeat what group member was saying if he was not understood/heard by the rest of the group
Stroke M 60–80 iPad computer; Predictable softwaree; direct, manual access AAC device; gesture (thumbs up/ thumbs down, head shake, shrug); no speech Group facilitator would identify when messages were being constructed on AAC and create space in the meeting for the message to be produced synthetically and heard
Head injury M 18–40 Tablet computer (Tobii i15f); Grid 3 softwarea; eye-gaze access (eye-gaze camera integrated into computer) AAC device; smile for ‘yes’, head shake for ‘no’; no speech Speech and language therapist or key worker support: repeated and simplified instructions when necessary, encouraging group member to find appropriate vocabulary on screen, provided physical access to resources; informed group of when a message had been constructed on AAC.
  1. Key to manufacturer details for types of AAC: aSmartbox (thinksmartbox.com); bTechess (techess.co.uk); cMind Express (mindexpress.be); dAbilia (abilia.com); eTherapy Box (therapy-box.co.uk); fTobii (tobii.com)