Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is a form of communication through a device, instrument, or aid that enhances a user’s ability to communicate. AAC is used when an individual cannot use their own speech to communicate effectively in all situations.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA),
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 users should not stop using speech if they are able to do so. The AAC aids and devices are used to enhance their communication.
The Nevada Assistive Technology Resource Center provides a variety of AAC devices and options ranging from high tech to low tech. These devices are available for individuals to loan out. Contact us today to find an AAC device that best suits your needs.