CSD 451: Intro toAAC Handout A
CSD 451: Introduction toAugmentative andAlternative Communication
I. INTRODUCTION TOAUGMENTATIVEANDALTERNATIVE
A. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
• Augmentative communication systems are used to supplement speech.
• Alternative communication systems are used as a replacement for speech.
• Typically we (professionals in the field of communication disorders) refer to augmentative and
alternative communication as AAC.
• How doesASHAdefineAAC?
o The field or area of clinical, educational, and research practice to improve,
temporarily or permanently, the communication skills of individuals with little or no
functional speech and/or writing.
o Aset of procedures and processes by which an individual’s communication
skills (i.e., production as well as comprehension) can be maximized for functional and
Multiple strategies/systems that works for an individual (not just one for
(ASHA, 2002, p. 420)
• Facts aboutAAC
o 900,000 people in the United States are unable to speak due to congenital impairments
o Estimated 2 million people in the United States could benefit fromAAC
o Beukelman &Ansel (1995) suggested as many as 8-12 per 1000 in the general US
population are not able to meet communication needs.
o Approximately 12% of children enrolled in special education programs required
AAC (Binger & Light, 2006)
B. ACommunication Bill of Rights (NOT ON EXAM)
1. The right to request desired objects, actions, events, and persons, and to express personal
preferences or feelings.
2. The right to be offered choices and alternatives.
3. The right to reject or refuse undesired objects, events, or actions, including the right to
decline or request all proffered choices.
4. The right to request, and be given, attention from and interaction with another person. CSD 451: Intro toAAC Handout A
5. The right to request feedback or information about a state, an object, a person, or an event
6. The right to active treatment and intervention efforts to enable people with severe
disabilities to communicate messages in whatever modes and as effectively and
efficiently as their specific abilities will allow.
7. The right to have communicative acts acknowledged and responded to, even when the
intent of these acts cannot be fulfilled by the responder.
8. The right to have access at all times to any needed augmentative and alternative
communication devices and other assistive devices, and to have those devices in good
9. The right to environmental contexts, interactions, and opportunities that expect and
encourage persons with disabilities to participate as full communicative partners with
other people, including peers.
10. The right to be informed about people, things, and events in one’s immediate
11. The right to be communicated with in a manner that recognizes and acknowledges
the inherent dignity of the person being addressed, including the right to be part of
communication exchanges about individuals that are conducted in his or her presence.
12. The right to be communicated with in ways that are meaningful, understandable,
and culturally and linguistically appropriate.
C. Conditions that May RequireAAC CMDIS 451
3. Progressive (get worse over
1. Congenital (born with) time) conditions
9* Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
1* cerebral palsy 10* Multiple sclerosis
2* mental retardation 11* Muscular dystrophy
3* severe/profound hearing 12* Parkinson’s disease
4* autism 13* AIDS
5* developmental aphasia
6* developmental apraxia 4. Acquired (after birth)
2. Temporary conditions 14* head injury
7* shock/trauma/surgery 15* cerebrovascular accident
16* spinal cord injury
D. Current view of candidacy forAAC: Cannot meet daily communication needs
through natural speech
• No access to natural speech. (paralyzed)
• At risk for speech development.
• Some speech, but not sufficient to meet all communication needs. (parents
understand but teacher does not)
• Speech that is functional in many contexts, but is not functional in all contexts with
all communication partners.
• Speech that is temporarily inadequate to meet communication needs, but is expected
to improve or recover. (lost voice, temporarily, surgery etc)
E. Settings whereAAC services are provided (typically by the SLP)
• Schools 44.7 %
• Hospitals 24.2%
• Nonresidential health care facility 13.3%
• Residential health care facility 12.8%
• College/University 3.4% CMDIS 451
• Other 1.6%
F. Role of the SLPin the Provision ofAAC Services
(includes, but is not limited to, the following)
• Gather background information about the client (how they got this, medical history,