Augmentative and Alternative Communication Decisions

Published by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, or ASHA, this article looks at how people communicate and examines different ways to approximate those communications using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices. It explains different methods to represent language in AAC systems such as: single meaning pictures, alphabet based systems, and semantic compaction. It examines the importance of establishing clear communication goals before deciding upon an AAC system, and collecting data to confirm that the system is working for the user. While this article was written for speech and language professionals, the information it contains is very useful for teachers or parents of children who have a communication impairment.