Next Steps Event - Thursday 25th April 5pm-7pm

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) are strategies and tools to aid communication besides talking (verbal speech), these range from simple letter or picture boards to sophisticated computer technologies. Students who have speech or language needs may use different types of AAC to help them to communicate as effectively as possible, in as many situations as possible.

Augmentative communication means adding something to speech to make the message clearer to the listener.

Alternative communication is used when someone is unable to speak or is hard to understand.

There are many different types of AAC. No-tech and low-tech options include things like:

  • gestures and facial expressions 
  • writing or drawing
  • spelling words by pointing to letters
  • pointing to photos, symbols, pictures, or written words

High-tech options include things like

  • using an app on an iPad, tablet or phone device
  • using a computer with a “voice," sometimes called a speech-generating device.

A number of our students use a range of AAC devices as part of their ‘Total Communication’ approach.