Men's Basketball |
Dec. 6, 2008
Sponsored Silence halftime presentation planned for Saturday’s men’s basketball game vs. UAB.
The Ohio Speech-Language-Hearing-Association (OSLHA), Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Prentke Romich Company, and DynaVox Technologies have partnered with UC athletics to help raise awareness for communication disorders. At this Saturday’s men’s basketball game vs. UAB, UC basketball color analyst Chuck Machock and radio personality Jeff Piecoro will demonstrate how to use an augmentative communication (AAC) device during a halftime presentation called, “Sponsored Silence.” AAC devices are computerized voice output systems (i.e. computers that talk) used by individuals who cannot speak or who have very limited speech. In addition to the Sponsored Silence presentation by Machock and Piecoro, the halftime event will also feature a video of an adult and child who use AAC in their everyday life. To introduce the event, Sara Pyszka a college senior with a communication disorder will sing the national anthem using her AAC device. Sara has written three songs with Lucas Richman, the former conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony and has performed the national anthem at a Pittsburgh Pirates game and at a Cleveland Indians game.
“Sponsored Silence is a unique and compelling event, in which community leaders experience what it is like to lose their ability to orally communicate”, states Martha Coen-Cummings, founder of Sponsored Silence and past president of the Ohio Speech-Language-Hearing Association . During a Sponsored Silence event, a community leader whose profession depends upon the ability to communicate effectively remains quiet and only uses an AAC device to talk. While the primary purpose of Sponsored Silence is to raise public awareness about communication disorders, a secondary purpose is to raise money for speech and hearing causes.
Over two million Americans are unable to speak or use handwriting in order to communicate. Of these individuals with such severe communication impairments, tens of thousands of them use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems so that others can understand them. There are many reasons why children and adults may be severely speech impaired and use AAC devices. The most common reasons include congenital impairments (i.e. cerebral palsy), neurological disorders (i.e. Parkinsons), and acquired disorders (i.e. stroke).
For more information and to learn how to make a donation to a scholarship fund for individuals to obtain speech therapy, please visit www.ohioslha.org.