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More on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Some key questions about Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) answered by a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), Yong Ennie. This the the final part in a 3-part series featured on Spectrum of Voices by Project Haans in conjunction with AAC Month of October.
By Yong Ennie
Some key questions about Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) answered by a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP).

October is AAC Month (Part 3)

In this first video of 3-part series, I explained briefly about the different types of AAC and how they can be used for different communication reasons.

1. What are the different types of AAC?
a. Unaided AAC : No extra device/equipment is needed for communication. Examples: Gestures, Makaton and Sign language
b. Aided AAC : Device/equipment is used for communication. Examples:
• Picture board/book (such as core board and choice board)
• Device with communication app
• Writing/spelling/typing (pencil, paper alphabet board or device)

2. What can we communicate with AAC?
Anything and everything! Examples:
• Requesting for items and actions
• Saying ‘no’
• Greeting and getting people’s attention
• Show an expression, such as ‘ouch’ and ‘wow’
• Talk about something that interest us
• Express our feelings
• Tell a story
• Have a conversation

Video Source: Genius Kurnia YouTube

October is AAC Month (Part 4)
AAC is not used only by a certain population. Think about it…do we only use speech to communicate? Of course not! We use a variety of methods to aid us. Like what?

1. Sign Boards
We look at sign boards to find our way, know what we can or can’t do and more. For example, toilet symbol, road signs and arrows.

2. Short Messages & emails
We type and send messages and emails with our phones, laptops and computers to individuals, groups and the public.

3. Translation application
We can instantly translate what we want to say to another language. Speaking to another person who doesn’t speak the same language is not as difficult anymore.

4. Picture choice
This is so common and yet many of use may not realize it. We can make our choice and buy so many different things by looking at catalogues, menus and more. Online shopping is made easy because of this.

Video source: Genius Kurnia YouTube

October is AAC Month (Part 4)

What do parents think about AAC?

1. How did their children communicate prior to using AAC?
Mostly pulling hands and pointing. Very few spoken words. Parents described their children’s communication as stressful and being one-way.

2. Does AAC support their children’s communication?
A resounding yes!

3. How does AAC support their children’s communication?
They can show what they want directly and without stress. They also acquire more vocabulary and showed more understanding to new words. Some of them even develop more spoken language when using AAC.

Let’s build a more inclusive world by accepting all forms of communication. We can all make a difference to all AAC users’ and their families’ lives!

Video Source: Genius Kurnia YouTube

Project Haans thanks Pusat Genius Kurnia for allowing us to post their videos here. Follow them on Facebook and Subscribe to their YouTube Channel.