Have you ever seen someone use gestures to communicate? Maybe you’ve seen someone draw a picture or write in a notebook to answer a question? Or use their phone to translate a sentence or phrase?

 

These are just a few forms of Augmentative and Alternative Communication, or AAC.

AAC includes all of the ways we share our ideas and feelings without talking. Using non-verbal communication and body language, we all use forms of AAC every day whether we realize it or not!

There are two types of systems generally used in AAC:
Unaided and Aided.

Unaided systems relay on the use of your body language, gestures, facial expressions, and maybe even some sign vocabulary.

Aided systems incorporate some sort of tool or device – either low tech or high tech. While using pictures is considered low tech, using a speech generating device such as an iPad based application is considered high tech.

For over two million individuals with speech or language problems that may need to find other ways to communicate, incorporating AAC as a tool to supplement or compensate communications techniques, either temporarily or permanently, has been a saving grace to interpret their thoughts and ideas as well as promoting independence and social interactions.