Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
AAC refers to all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. People with severe speech or language language problems rely on AAC to supplement existing speech or replace speech that is not functional. Special augmentative aids, such as picture and symbol communication boards and electronic devices, are available to help people express themselves.
AAC aids and devices are used to enhance communication, and can be used to develop underlying language skills. They do not replace or diminish existing communication skills.
There are several types of AAC systems:
Unaided Communication Systems rely on the user's body to convey messages. Examples include gestures, body language, and sign language.
Aided Communication Systems require the use of tools or equipment in addition to the user's body. Aided systems range from paper and pencil, communication books and boards, to electronic devices that produce voice output and written output. Electronic communication aids allow the user to use symbols, letters, and/or words and phrases to create messages.
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