You are currently viewing an archived page from the AAC-RERC II (2003-2008) web site. New content is available at the web site for the AAC-RERC III (2008-2013) at

AAC-RERC header image

AAC: A User's Perspective

Colin Portnuff Photo

Presenter: Colin Portnuff

Webcast Description:


Colin Portnuff was a bright and passionate humanitarian who lost his speech, but never his love of life nor his sense of humor, to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Colin passed away on February 11, 2007.

We are fortunate to have this webcast of Colin sharing his life experiences and his vision for new applications of assistive technology. He describes receiving his diagnosis, stepping into the “world” of disability, and dealing with public attitudes and discrimination. He shares some of his techniques for managing conversations, and presents some interesting and provocative information for us about the application of speech and voice technology in augmentative and alternative communication.

Colin challenges us to look past disability, voice and language to see people -- their emotions, their values and their character -- and to appreciate the impact that our work can have on people's lives.

Colin Portnuff was the 2006 recipient of the ACES Free Speech Now award from Temple University.


Link: Click here to view the Quicktime webcast (high speed connections)

Windows Media Player

Link: Click here to view the Windows Media Player webcast (high speed connections)


Link: Click here to view a transcript for this webcast as a PDF file.
Link: Click here to download a transcript for this webcast as a TXT file.


Duke Univ. | InvoTek, Inc. | Penn State Univ. | Children's Hospital Boston | Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln | Oregon Health & Science Univ. | State Univ. of NY, Buffalo