Assistive Technology/Augmentative-Alternative Communication:
Augmentative and alternate communication (AAC) is a scope of practice within the field of Speech-Language Pathology, falling under the Assistive Technology umbrella. 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.
Students with severe speech or language problems rely on various forms of 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. For students who are non-speaking, the use of AAC has proven to increase spoken language and expand receptive language all while providing a means of expressive output. This may increase social interaction, school performance, and feelings of self-worth.
Valley Collaborative’s AAC specialists conduct comprehensive AAC evaluations using a team approach within a consult-evaluation model. Valley’s AAC Assessment team is able to provide:
- Evaluations and communication device trials
- AAC consultation
- Team meeting attendance
- Specific device or program trainings