Augmentative and alternative communication: overview
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) has been defined by the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC):
- "to describe extra ways of helping people who find it hard to communicate by speech or writing. AAC helps them to communicate more easily."
- AAC should be considered as a viable option for improving the quality of life of anyone of any age with a severe communication impairment resulting from developmental, acquired, progressive, long-term or acute conditions.
- “AAC covers a huge range of techniques which support or replace spoken communication.
- word boards
- communication boards
- Voice Output Communication Aids (VOCAs) Communication Matters".
- If you are a person who uses AAC, family member, carer or professional, it is important to consult a speech and language therapist (SLT) or an AAC specialist to request a multi-disciplinary assessment to make an informed decision about any equipment you may need.
- There is no ‘best’ type of AAC system. Each has pros and cons - the most suitable one for an individual will depend on their personal preference, situation and on their abilities and needs. Specialist assessment will help to identify the most appropriate AAC system(s).
View AAC sections:
- Introduction: characteristics, aetiology, vulnerability and risk issues
- Role of speech and language therapy: assessment, diagnosis and management
- National policy context: national policies, government reports and legislation from across the UK
- Prevalence and incidence statistics
- Evidence and research
- Guidelines and supporting resources
- RCSLT Bulletin feature articles
- Useful contacts: RCSLT advisers, RCSLT clinical excellence networks; key organisations
- Reference list
- Website contributors and date of last review
Cross-reference with other topic areas:
- Acquired motor speech disorders
- Brain injury
- Developmental speech difficulties
- Head and neck cancer
- Language disorder
- Learning disabilities
- Motor disorders
- Progressive neurological conditions