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Borrowing an AAC Device

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Hi friend!

Did you know that you can borrow an AAC device? It's true! In this article, we'll explore reasons why borrowing an AAC device might be the right choice for you and your students or clients, as well as share some links directing you on where you can access these valuable tools.

Text reads "Borrowing an AAC Device". Picture of a person in a wheelchair using an eye gaze AAC device. Also pictured is a BIG Mack button and CVI friendly device.

Why would I need to borrow a device?

Borrowing a device to trial is great for a variety of reasons:

1. Assessments:

As an SLP, you work with diverse clients, each with unique communication needs. Borrowing different AAC devices allows you to assess which device suits a particular client best. By trialing various devices, you can make well-informed recommendations tailored to the individual's abilities and needs.

2. Familiarization:

The field of AAC is constantly evolving, with new devices and software entering the market. You might borrow devices to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements, ensuring you are able to provide the most relevant and effective recommendations for your clients.

3. Cost-Efficiency:

AAC devices can be expensive, and not all clients can afford to purchase them outright. Borrowing devices enables you to provide temporary solutions to clients who may not have the financial means to invest in a device immediately. This ensures that clients can start their communication journey without a significant financial burden.

4. Temporary Needs:

Some clients might require AAC devices temporarily, such as to support children with Selective Mutism or low intelligibility. Borrowing a device for the duration of the need can be a practical solution, saving clients from purchasing a device they won't use in the long term.

You might also want to borrow a temporary AAC device while your client waits for their permanent one - this can sometimes take 8-16 weeks!

5. Emergency Situations:

In emergency cases, where a client suddenly loses their ability to communicate verbally due to illness or accident, borrowing an AAC device immediately ensures that they can express their basic needs and emotions, enhancing their quality of life during a challenging period.

6. Customization:

AAC devices come with various features and customization options. You might need a device or mount that don't usually use for a client who has special or certain communication and access needs. For example, you might need to borrow a device with eye gaze capability and a mount that allows the device to be mounted onto the client's wheelchair.

What else can I borrow?

AAC devices aren't the only thing you can borrow. You can also borrow:

  • Keyboards

  • BIG Macks

  • Switches

  • Desk & wheelchair mounts

  • Magnifiers

  • Classroom access tools (things that special education teachers, RSP teachers, occupational therapists, physical therapists, audiologists, etc. might use)

Where can get a loaner device?

Here are some organizations and websites where you can borrow devices and other access equipment from within the United States.

If you know of any other lending libraries or rental programs, feel free to share in a comment below so I can add it to the list!

I hope that helps!

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