During AAC Awareness Month an online survey was conducted to learn more about the state of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) in the English-speaking world. Three years after the last survey, we wanted to get a better understanding of current practices and challenges.
AAC users should be able to say what they want, when they want, so they must have access to their AAC system all the time! The rest of the team also needs fast and instant access to the AAC system. How else will they model?
We all use many different ways to communicate. Often AAC users will use the fastest and most efficient means of communication available to them in the moment. Respect every mode of communication, as they all play a part in becoming effective communicators!
We can all understand the concept that AAC users may not learn how to effectively use their AAC system for communication if they do not see it used regularly and reliably by others in their world. The best way that we can support our AAC user is the use the AAC system to talk yourself!
Are your questions open or closed? In any environment where questions occur naturally, like in classrooms, it is essential that open-ended questions are used for AAC users. It allows language to be modeled and gives AAC users the opportunity to learn to say what they think and feel.
Providing enough time to people who use AAC is very important, as using AAC to communicate takes time. We as communication partners need to provide enough of it for the person using AAC to claim their turn in the conversation, to process what was said and what they want to say and then compose their message.
AssistiveWare’s Amanda, a Speech-Language Pathologist with over 20 years experience working in schools and with families and as a technology consultant, shares her tips for literacy instruction for an AAC user.
This past summer we ramped up our preparations for Stephen to start the 2nd grade. We’ve been spending some time this summer reviewing math lessons and spelling words from 1st grade, preparing for more strenuous curriculum in 2nd.