With so many new devices and systems being advertised on the market, the world of AAC can be daunting and difficult to navigate. Here is quick guide as to the different categories of AAC and related terminology.

AAC and the different types of ACC ?

What is ACC?

AAC is Alternative and Augmentative Communication.

It includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas.

We all use AAC when we use facial expressions or gestures, symbols or pictures, or write.

What are the different types of AAC?

AAC can be mainly categorised into aided or unaided, and low tech or high-tech.

Aided AAC requires some type of physical support, e.g. real objects, visuals, a communication board with photos/words, a switch, an iPad.

Unaided AAC requires no physical aids, e.g. sign language, natural gesture.

Low tech AAC is where the communication support has no technology, e.g. Choice boards, swing tags, gesture.

Whereas High tech AAC, surprise, is where the communication support is technological, e.g. iPad, tablet, voice output device.

Selection of the best type of AAC for each individual with complex communication needs should be facilitated by a speech pathologist who is experienced in AAC. There is a clear process in the selection, trial/implementation and ongoing review of AAC, where the individual needs, communication preferences, access barriers and opportunities, to name a few, are considered and addressed.

Below are some examples of different types of AAC tech.

Delna Pryde
Giant Steps Sydney
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