Opening the Door to Communication: Selecting an AAC DeviceBy Jaehnert, Kari; Family Center on Technology and Disability (FCTD) Newsletter,
Publication Date: March 2002
Article discusses the basics of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device selection for children with communication disabilities. The author defines AAC as all forms of communication that supplement or enhance speech and writing, as children who cannot express themselves verbally will often utilize an alternative method such as a communication board or book. Communication displays are usually made of symbols from a symbol set library, actual objects, photographs, or drawings. A more high-tech option is voice output communication aids, which are often battery-powered devices that play a recorded voice. These devices usually have a button area with a communication overlay, which contains symbols that correspond with a specific phrase or question. For example, a child can press the symbol for cookie, while the device plays a pre-recording message that asks for a cookie. The author contends that communication devices do not necessarily replace speech, as research has shown that AAC actually encourages further speech development. Strategies for AAC device selection are included.
Published by: Family Center on Technology and Disability (FCTD) (Website:http://www.fctd.info)
Link to text: http://www.fctd.info/resources/newsletters/displayNewsletter.php?newsletterID=42