Our Better Rehab Speech Pathology team met up for dinner to celebrate AAC Awareness Month.
An Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) aid is any “device,” either electronic or non-electronic, that is used to transmit or receive messages.
Communication aids range from communication books to speech generating devices.
Our team used various electronic and non-electronic AAC systems to choose our food orders, comment on the delicious meal and catch up with each other.
It was important to see the challenges that many AAC users face in the community, from not being able to hear some AAC devices in noisy environments (like a restaurant) to poor community perception of AAC as a mode of communication.
They practiced communicating with a range of electronic and non- electronic AAC device including:
• Speech generating devices – hand-held electronic devices that play pre-recorded words or phrases when the user flips a switch or presses buttons or keys. Some devices ‘speak’ words as the words are typed on a keyboard.
• Text to speech software – converts typed text into natural-sounding speech.
• e-Tran boards – a non-electronic communication aid, designed to enable a person to communicate using spelling and eye contact with their communication partner. It has an alpha numeric display in eight groupings around a rectangular opening on a clear sheet.
• Key word sign – a communication strategy used to support understanding and encourage language in children and adults with communication difficulties. Short clear sentences are spoken, and the important key words are signed at the same time in Auslan (Australian sign language).
• Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD) – a communication book that uses familiar picture symbols and are organised by the different pragmatic functions of language. Our Speech Therapists customize these books for each of our participants. They allow communication between people with complex communication needs and their communication partners, whether that’s carers, family, friends or support workers.
If you would like to book an appointment with our speech team, please contact us at: