Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Augmentative and Alternative Communication Assistive Technology

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices can help individuals who have a communication related disability.    There are many types of AAC devices.  In Chapter 5 of Assistive Technology for People with Disabilities by Bryant & Bryant, the various types of AACs are described.

In a school environment, a Speech Pathologist and Occupational Therapist might be part of the IEP team that works with the user's family to evaluate and make a recommendation for an AAC device. 

 Motor skills assessment is an important aspect in determining the best AAC for an individual. Many AAC devices require the motor skills to point and push to make selections.  Individuals with limited motor skills may use eye gaze pointing with a communication partner to make selections.

Many AAC devices rely on symbols and pictures.  Symbols and pictures convey ideas and concepts that can be easily understood.  It is beneficial for the user to utilize pictures that have meaning that transcends the classroom.

AAC devices range from high tech to low tech.  The higher tech devices are more costly.

I chose to explore my school and search for an AAC device to share. The Thinglink link below is a hot image of a communication board being used by a student in my school.  The board is a low tech solution. The pictures on the board are meaningful to the student and they transcend the classroom.  The student works with a communication partner on this board.

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