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It's AAC Awareness Month!

This month of October 2021, the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) is celebrating AAC Awareness by focusing on the various forms of digital communication that have grown more familiar with us in a post-COViD world. Here at TTMT, we want to share some facts about AAC, provide resources to further your knowledge on AAC, and introduce some of the technology available for AAC learners!

What is AAC?
AAC stands for augmentative and alternative communication-- augmentative meaning used to enhance or supplement speech and alternative meaning used instead of speech. AAC can encompass gestures, body language, facial expressions, writing, drawing, pointing to pictures, using an application on an iPad, or using a dedicated speech-generating device to communicate.
Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

What are the benefits of using AAC?
  • Supports natural speech development and language learning
  • Increased independence
  • Decreased frustration and behaviors
  • Improved educational and social outcomes
  • Easily customized and personalized
  • More communication!

Source: Millar et al, 2006 and Romski, Sevcik 2005

QUICK TIPS for supporting an AAC Learner!
    You might also hear this strategy referred to as Aided Language Stimulation, which simply means that a communication partner is helping to teach the meaning of the symbols on an AAC system by verbally saying the word(s) while selecting it on the AAC system.
  • Provide access to both core words and some fringe!
    Core word vocabulary are words that are frequently used and can be used in a variety of contexts. They can easily be combined to form phrases and sentences. It is also important to have at least some “fringe” words to provide detail! Fringe words tend to be specific nouns.
  • Pause and wait!
    Try to wait a few seconds after you initiate or ask a question, allowing plenty of time for them to communicate.
  • Acknowledge communication attempts!
    Whether button selections are intentional and appropriate to the context, or they are random or maybe even accidental, the communication attempts should be acknowledged with an appropriate response.

Want to learn more?

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