Augmentative and Alternative Communication, also known as AAC is a term that includes various ways of communication that is able to help those who are unable to use verbal speech to communicate. ACC is used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas such as a picture, symbol communication boards and electronic devices. With these tools it may increase social interaction, feelings of self-worth and school performance. Those who have a severe problem with speech or language rely on ACC to supplement existing speech or replace speech that is not functional. Augmentative and alternative communication is categorized in two ways: unaided and aided.
These two systems are when children or adults ...view middle of the document...
It may be either ‘low-tech’ or ‘high-tech’ which are both meant to set up to suit people with or without literacy skills. Aided communication also comes with its strengths and weaknesses.
Low-tech communication system can take many forms and anything that doesn’t need a battery to function. It may include objects of reference, photographs and pictures, graphic symbols and text. High-tech communication systems are devices that do require a battery to be able to function. It can range from simple high- tech for example, single message devices, printer boards, toys and books, which speak when touched to very sophisticated systems that may include specialized computers and programs, and electronic aids which can speak or print.
Any one who has a disability that makes it difficult for them to communicate may benefit from ACC. People may need ACC for only a short time while others may need it throughout their lives. ACC can impact an individuals’ life in a way that they are able to fully participate in decisions that affect their lives. Not only the disabled but also the family members can benefit from ACC. ACC is providing a way for them to fully communicate with their loved ones.
Deciding which augmentative and alternative communication device to use with an individual, it is highly recommended that the decision should be made by a professional and their team and also the family members who can assess the person and analyze the best system based on use and performance. Typically, the professional would be a speech-language pathologist, however occupational therapists, physical therapists, early interventionists, and special educators might also be involved.
Another factor to decide which augmentative and alternative communication device to use is based on the individuals’ preferences and strengths. There are no essentials for AAC use. For this reason, assessment is important, however giving the individual a means of communication is more important. Choosing the...