What is AAC?
“Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. We all use AAC when we make facial expressions or gestures, use symbols or pictures, or write.
People with severe speech or language problems rely on AAC to supplement existing speech or replace speech that is not functional. Special augmentative aids, such as picture and symbol communication boards and electronic devices, are available to help people express themselves. This may increase social interaction, school performance, and feelings of self-worth.”
AAC may be used for a long term or for a short term. Some communicators may always need a system or device while others may only need it to bridge a gap in communication.
The role of the AT/AAC specialist in the special education department is to support the Speech/language Pathologist in the school. An AAC specialist may facilitate the conversation to help determine if an AAC trial is needed, what type(s) to try, training of system for the trial, and assisting in looking for funding if a device has proven to be beneficial.
Complete an Assistive Technology request for service if you have a student you are considering for AAC.