Click here if you wish to take our communications survey.


The Scott A. Mackler, MD, PhD, Assistive Technology Program

...helping our patients LIVE with ALS

During the course of their illness, most people with ALS experience difficulty with speech and movement. That's where the Chapter's Assistive Technology Program comes in - it uses technology to increase or improve functional capabilities.

Assistive technology can enhance the quality of life of person with ALS by tapping into their abilities, providing new and alternative means to stay active and continue to participate in every day activities. With all the latest developments made in the field of rehabilitation technology it is often challenging to know what appropriate technology is available to meet the individual’s needs. The Scott A. Mackler, MD, PhD, Assistive Technology Program provides trained technologists that assist persons with ALS with the daunting task of identifying and applying assistive devices. These devices may include communication technology, telecommunications, computer access, electronic aids to assist with daily living, and assistance with seating and mobility issues.


Click here to make a donation to the program


A Reason for Hope

The Scott A. Mackler, MD, PhD, Assistive Technology Program of the ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter, loans and helps provide assistive technology devices such as:

  • Remote door chimes to call for help
  • Environmental control units that offer hands-free access to televisions, VCR's CD players, cable boxes, etc.
  • Rocket E-Books™ - an electronic device that allows you to read novels and published works
  • Scanning telephones to promote independent phone use
  • Dedicated communication devices that convey messages
  • Computers with voice output and the ability to access the Internet

Assistive Technology opens the door to the outside world for people with ALS. It helps them regain contact as they knew it, before ALS. A world where communication came as easily as picking up the telephone, or messages could travel around the world by simply pressing a button on your computer.

Click here to view our Assistive Technology Fact Sheet

Click here to download our Scott A. Mackler, MD, PhD, Assistive Technology Program brochure

About the Program

The Scott A. Mackler, MD, PhD, Assistive Technology Program is made possible by the generosity of the Mackler family and friends. Dr. Mackler, a renowned addiction researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, was diagnosed with ALS in April, 1999.

The ALS Association, Greater Philadelphia Chapter implemented an innovative, coordinated approach to assistive technology (AT) in 1993. In 1996, the Chapter hired a full-time assistive technologist to oversee and expand the program. Dr. Mackler recognized the importance of assistive technology to improve a person’s quality of life, and wanted to see the efforts of the Chapter further expanded into a complete program. The Chapter was one of the first in the country to establish an AT program and a loaner closet.

Today, the Scott A. Mackler, MD, PhD, Assistive Technology Program enables persons with ALS to have access to assistive technology devices and services which are often not covered by insurance policies. The Chapter also identified the need for assistive technology services to be an integral part of our clinic environment. An assistive technologist is available at both of the Chapter’s certified clinics.


For more information, contact Alisa Brownlee, ATP, Assistive Technology Specialist, at 215-631-1877 or


Free Letterboards

Never be without a communication board, even if you have an electronic communication device.  Electricity can go out, devices may break, so always have a back up system in place - like these letterboards:

Eye Gaze Boards

Numbered Line Boards

If you would like a laminated copy of these boards, please call the Chapter office at 215-643-5434.

Hospice Communication Guidelines

Hospice Communication Management Guidelines

Hospice Communication Guidelines Flowsheet


The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter
321 Norristown Road - Suite 260, Ambler, PA 19002

The ALS Association is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.