The U.S. Senate has passed a bill into law which will give individuals with Motor Neurone Disease (known as ALS in the United States) access to voice output communication devices. This is a significant development, and one that should be replicated here. Individuals with progressive conditions such as MND need communication solutions that are readily available when they need them.
The Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association has always done an incredible job in maintaining a stock of such devices, but legislating for such Assistive Technology provision would represent a real step forward.
Ideally, all Assistive Technologies should have a legislative basis in order to increase potential users’ awareness of them, and also to ensure better funding is available.
Clearly, the advocacy campaign spearheaded by American athlete, Steve Gleason, has yielded dividends. We have much to learn from their approach.