Assistive Technology for Communication

Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Augmentative communication refers to a wide variety of nonverbal techniques used
to supplement or 'augment' a person's oral speech which allows them to use and
develop their language. These may include natural gestures, sign language,
photographs and other kinds of pictures, spelling out words on alphabet displays, as
well as 'higher tech' devices such as voice output devices, etc.
Alternative communication refers to providing a substitute for one’s speech.
Need for Students to Communicate
Gain your attention
Express basic wants and needs
Control their environment
Reduce frustration
Communicate in the socially and in the curriculum
Produce what they comprehend
Increase speech intelligibility
To Facilitate comprehension skills
No tech options
 Topic boards
 PCS/photos
 Communication Boards/PECS
 Sign Language/gestures
Low tech options
 Voice output devices
 Single switch/single
 Single switch/multiple
 Single level/multiple cells
 Multi level/multiple cells
High tech options
 Dynamic Display
Tips for AAC
 AAC users do not stop using speech and should be
encouraged to use it all the time!
Conduct thorough device matching before
purchasing any device
 Be patient and flexible…communication is a life
long process
 Be willing to teach other communication partners
about AAC and “rules” for conversations
Take advantage of training opportunities

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