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Silent Communicator

By
Cameron Broyles
March 6, 2018

Being a teenager with cerebral palsy that can’t communicate well can be hard during a power soccer game, especially when I want the ball! When I was at Power Soccer Camp last summer, we had an open discussion with the players from Team USA and I remember someone asked the question, “How do you communicate with team members during a game if you are non-verbal?” I just remember thinking…my problem exactly! Well, one of the answers to that question was: “If you can grunt, then just grunt.”

With the help of modern day technology, if you are non-verbal, you don’t have to rely on just grunting for the pass of a ball. Miraculously, my parents found a few buttons for me. The first one is called Recordable Answer Buzzers, and it records whatever you want to say or your own buzzer sounds. They are loud enough to get the attention of other players and you can record up to seven seconds per buzzer.

The other devices you could try are bicycle horns. There are a couple of different versions. One is the Huffy Bicycle 00769BL Cruiser Electronic Bike Bell. It is a stylish black device that would blend nicely attached to a power chair, I mean do we really need any more attention focused on us wheelchair users anyway?  It has 4 unique push button sounds like an engine rev, lightning bolt, horn, and siren.

Another one I’ve tried is the Wallfire Ultra Loud 5 Modes Cycling Bike Horn. Again, this horn attaches easily to a bicycle or a power chair, but I have to warn you this device is super loud, you might actually startle one of your teammates using this horn!

I already prefer the button that records because my dad can say something silly. When you have a disability, you realize really quickly that you have to adapt to most situations that many people don’t even consider on a daily basis. Most times you just have to think outside the box and try one thing or another. I hope this blog might spark an idea for you to try something different that might help your specific situation!

Cameron Broyles has been blogging for 5 years and has his own blog about travel and exploring life with a disability at Cameronblog.net

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