What is Alternative and Augmentative Communication?

The American Speech and Hearing Association explains: 

“You may have seen someone write in a notebook to answer a question. Maybe you have seen people using sign language or other gestures. You may have seen someone push buttons on a computer that speaks for them. These are all forms of augmentative and alternative communication, or AAC.

AAC includes all of the ways we share our ideas and feelings without talking. We all use forms of AAC every day. You use AAC when you use facial expressions or gestures instead of talking. You use AAC when you write a note and pass it to a friend or coworker. We may not realize how often we communicate without talking. 

“People with severe speech or language problems may need AAC to help them communicate. Some may use it all of the time. Others may say some words but use AAC for longer sentences or with people they don’t know well. AAC can help in school, at work, and when talking with friends and family.”

To see some different types of AAC demonstrated, click this link to watch a video of our fantastic Valley therapy dog Maybel who helps us learn about lots of different ways we can talk. Learn more from the ASHA.

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Valley Medical Center's Marketing and Community Outreach Office