Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is a type of Assistive Technology (AT). AT includes low-tech and high-tech devices and products that are used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. AAC includes all forms of communication (other than speech) that are used to:

  • Express needs and wants
  • Exchange information
  • Develop Social Closeness
  • Maintain Social Etiquette

People with significant speech or language problems rely on AAC to supplement speech or to replace existing speech that is not functional. AAC is most often used in combination with speech to maximize functional communication.

How can UCF help?

The Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST) Atlantic Region Assistive Technology Demonstration Center located at the Communication Disorders Clinic offers services designed to assist those with communication needs. Clinical faculty members are distinguished service providers as well as dedicated teachers and researchers who prepare the next generation of speech-language pathologists.

What is the evaluation procedure?

Comprehensive evaluations are conducted to determine which communication needs are not being met. Clients, who have already received an AT assessment/evaluation at another location, should send the report with the UCF case history form to the Communication Disorders Clinic. This will provide information about whether additional evaluation procedures need to be completed.

In addition, clients need to send any relevant school or medical reports from previous AT assessments/evaluations.

What type of treatment do we provide?

Treatment options to maximize the effective use of AT and AAC in the everyday lives of children and adults are offered. All services focus on matching individual communication skills, needs and priorities with appropriate technology.

Hear from clients and their families

Sophie – From research to therapeutic intervention for children needing the use of augmentative devices.

Sophie – “I want to bake a cake … a chocolate cake.”

Faculty Interview

Associate Professor Jennifer Kent-Walsh discussed AAC on the “For Your Health” show, produced by UCFTV.

Resources

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/AAC/

Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology
www.faast.org

PrAACtical AAC – Supports for Language Learning
http://praacticalaac.org/

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