What is AAC and Who is it for?

October is AAC Awareness Month!

AAC, which stands for augmentative and alternative communication, is a unique communication system that utilizes pictures, symbols, gestures, and/or assistive technology to supplement or replace verbal speech for individuals with complex communication needs. Children or adults with developmental, genetic, or motor speech disorders, as well as adults with acquired brain injuries may all benefit from using an AAC system.

The goal of using AAC is to maximize the communicative abilities of that individual. In turn, AAC may also have a positive influence on his or her self esteem and quality of life. AAC can be used across settings and for any function that verbal speech would otherwise be used. 

In 1991, the IBM Training Manual published a quote that reads: “For people without disabilities, technology makes things easier. For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible.” As large tech companies such as Apple continue to develop and advance, AAC and assistive technology systems will continue to transform the lives of those with complex communication needs.