The device helps me talk to people and tell them how I am feeling. It’s changed my life.
Jake lives at one of our supported living services. He has a learning disability and he is also non-verbal, which means he doesn’t communicate through speech. To communicate with our staff who support him, Jake used to nod and shake his head, or use other body language.
Jake was inspired by watching Lost Voice Guy, a stand-up comedian who uses a communication aid in his routines, win the 2018 series of TV show Britain’s Got Talent. He decided to apply for a communication aid himself through his speech and language therapist.
Initially, Jake felt too anxious to use the communication aid, but with support from our staff, he gradually became more comfortable with it. Jake’s key worker Mel accompanied him to sessions with his speech and language therapist, where together they learned more about how to use the device. Mel also attended additional training to help her to support Jake with this.
Jake has gone through an incredible journey with his communication aid. He went from initially not wanting to touch the device to now confidently using it in front of new people and telling them jokes.
When someone asks him questions, Jake uses his communication aid to give in-depth answers, which were not possible before. Because he can express exactly how he is feeling and clearly articulate his aspirations, staff can offer him more tailored support. He has used the device to record personal messages for his family and friends, including one for his Mum on Mother’s Day.
The communication device can be set to a variety of different voices. Jake has elected to use a voice reminiscent of the Queen’s as he finds this funny.
Jake is effusive about the support he received from staff and the positive difference that the communication device has made to him: “I think the staff did good. The device helps me talk to people and tell them how I am feeling. It’s changed my life.”