Exciting New AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) ProjectsBy Hemphill, Joe; ConnSENSE Bulletin, Vol. 6, No. 2
Publication Date: May 2004
Article provides a summary of 15 research and development projects conducted by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Research Center on Communication Enhancement (AAC-RERC). The first project was designed to facilitate AAC device use for people of all ages. The project is aimed at people with a variety of disabilities that may hinder their ability to communicate at an optimal level, such as autism and aphasia. The second area looks to break down barriers to employment, education, literacy, and social participation for people who use AAC devices. Even though some people who use AAC devices attend school and take an active role in their communities, many still struggle through a variety of obstacles. In the third project researcher will simulate conversational situations that involve people who use AAC devices as participants. Another project involves research conducted to determine the extent to which current AAC devices are user-friendly, along with how accessible they actually are. The project seeks to understand more about what it takes to learn how to use AAC devices, and how professionals can simplify the experience for people with communication disabilities. The next project seeks to conduct research into alternative ways of accessing communication devices. Researchers are searching for ways to make the voices of people with communication disabilities more understandable, while other investigators are looking into devices that can recognize bodily movements, and that can use electrodes to respond to a person’s thoughts or brain waves. The last project aims to examine how communication devices can help people to function in their environments. The project staff will attempt to stay informed of new technology, and help to ensure that new technology is accessible through AAC devices. The projects conducted by the AAC-RERC were funded by the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
Published by: ConnSENSE (Connecticut's Special Education Network for Software Evaluation) (Website:http://www.connsensebulletin.com)
NEAT (New England Assistive Technology) Marketplace (Web Site: http://www.neatmarketplace.org )
A.J. Pappanikou Center for Developmental Disabilities (Web Site: http://www.uconnucedd.org )
Connecticut Tech Act Project (Web Site: http://www.cttechact.com )
Link to text: http://www.connsensebulletin.com/joeaac.html