Augmentative and Alternative Communication (aac)
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) refers to any means of communicating other than speech. Several options are available depending on the needs and abilities of an individual: unaided/no-tech (e.g. gestures, sign language), low-tech (e.g. writing, communication boards with pictures), and high-tech (e.g. tablets with communication apps, computers). Also depending on the person’s needs and abilities, more than one AAC system (e.g. gestures + tablet) can be used at a time.
Aside from facilitating effective and efficient communication, AAC also helps with language development (Drager, Light, & McNaughton, 2010).
AAC can be used in conjunction with speech. It will not hinder speech development; in some cases, it even facilitates it (Millar, Light, & Schlosser, 2006)
AAC is appropriate for individuals with no speech, little speech, or poorly understandable speech. It can be used by both children and adults alike. Age, cognitive skills, and medical condition are not considered in determining a person’s "candidacy" for AAC.