Augmentative and Alternative Communication Tools

We would like to share some augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tools with families who have children with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is an umbrella term that encompasses the communication methods used to supplement or replace speech or writing for those with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language.One practice often used with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities involves aided augmentative and alternative communication (aided AAC). Most of these systems involve visual displays containing written words, icons, or other visual-graphic symbols. Aided AAC relies on vision. Consequently, it is important that individuals who use AAC be able to process the visually-presented information; otherwise, the system is not effective. Glow writing is one strategy that was found to be very effective. It is a text effect available in Microsoft Word. It highlights the outline of the letter. Krista Wilkinson’s research has shown that teaching the most important features of letters helps to build visual memories.
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