Links For more Information about AAC:

About Elby Services

Consulting for Augmentative/Alternative Communication and assistive technology


Elby Services is

Elizabeth Smith Nagler, M.A., CCC-SLP

Elizabeth earned her B.S. and her M.A. in speech pathology at Western Michigan University. She began focusing on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) when she was an undergraduate student and has developed her clinical skills through years of service in the Kalamazoo area.  She has worked in homes, schools, skilled nursing facilities, in-patient and out-patient rehabilitation, and adult day programs. 


Elby Services starts from the premise that there are a lot of people in the Kalamazoo area who do not know where to find the help they need when it comes to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

Because the abandonment rate is so high for AAC, Elby Services approaches assessment a little differently than some others.  At Elby Services, assessment involves a session during which we gather information on receptive language, physical access, and communication needs.  From that point, we can select a device or an app that the team thinks will work, and training on that device or app commences. Only after the person who needs AAC demonstrates that the selection is in fact appropriate does the recommendation for that selection get made.

Elby Services is committed to being there for clients even after the device is selected and has been turned on.  Successful AAC is an evolving process. Vocabulary needs to be updated, customized, backed up, and monitored (at least from time to time).  As clients become more competent with their AAC systems, they may need to switch to more complicated vocabularies and syntax.  Regardless of what may pop up, Elby Services wants to be available to help you through it, including training you to do these things for yourself if possible. 

Who needs Assistive Technology & AAC?

You don't have to have a diagnosis to benefit from assistive technology.  Do you use a smart phone to find out where a restaurant is? Keep a to-do list?  Have a schedule on a calendar?  Then you use assistive technology already.  But there are some conditions that people live with that make it likely that the need for assistive technology is more...pressing.

It would be impractical to list all of the conditions that might indicate a need for technology.  But here are some of the more obvious ones:

     * cerebral palsy

     * autism

     * aphasia

     * cerebral vascular accident (stroke)

     * amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

     * spinal cord injury

     * traumatic brain injury (TBI)

     * multiple sclerosis (MS)

     * trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome)

     * dysarthria

     * apraxia