What is Augmentative and alternative communication?

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is alternative methods of communication that aim to support individuals to communicate and have a voice. AAC can take form in many different methods e.g. sign, picture exchange-based systems and computer-based technology. Everyone uses multiple forms of communication on a daily basis, based upon the context and our communication partner. Effective communication occurs when the intent and meaning of one individual is understood by another person (often referred to as the communication partner). 

AAC covers a huge range of techniques which support, or replace spoken communication.

These include:

  • Gestures

  • Signing

  • Symbols

  • Word boards

  • Computer-based technology

  • Communication boards

  • Communication Books

  • Voice Output Communication Aids (VOCAs) Communication Matters 

Frequently Asked Questions

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