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What is Augmentative Alternative Communication?

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IMG_0003Since I have a severe speech disability because of my cerebral palsy I cannot communicate effectively using my own oral voice and as result use an Augmentative Alternative Communication or A.A.C. device to communicate. An A.A.C. technology aid is any device, either electronic or non-electronic that is used to transmit or receive messages for those who cannot do so vocally.

There are two types of A.A.C., low-tech and high-tech. For low-tech A.A.C. it is any communication aid that does not need batteries, electricity, or electronics to operate. Very often they are very simple aids created by placing letters, words, phrases, or pictures on a board or book to be accessed by the person who is using A.A.C. to communicate. Some of these low-tech communication boards that my mom made out of cardboard with pictures and words on them were my first interactions with A.A.C.

As I grew up and started grade school I got introduced to high-tech A.A.C., which are electronic devices that permit the storage and retrieval of messages, many of which allow the use of speech output. These speech output devices are called Speech Generating Devices or S.G.D’s. These devices can be built solely for A.A.C. use like one device I used called the Dynawrite. Other devices can be multipurpose like my iPad has a few A.A.C. apps like Proloquo2Go that allows me to communicate like any other A.A.C. S.P.G. on top of the iPad’s other features.

 In my radio show I will explore how people like myself who use A.A.C. interact with our community and handle the public perception good and bad of the unique way we communicate. Please tune in, it should be an informative and exciting show.

Author: admin

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