Speech & Language » AAC


AAC: Augmentative Alternative Communication

What is AAC?

AAC includes all forms of communication (other than oral speech) that are used to express thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. We all use AAC when we make facial expressions or gestures, use symbols or pictures, or write.  People with severe speech or language problems rely on AAC to supplement existing speech or replace speech that is not functional. Special augmentative aids, such as picture and symbol communication boards and electronic devices, are available to help people express themselves. This increases social interaction, school performance, and feelings of self-worth.  AAC users should not stop using speech if they are able to do so. The AAC aids and devices are used to enhance their communication.

Types of AAC

Picture Gestural/Sign Language

Using hand signs to communicate.
Click on the link below for a Sign Language Dictionary.


‘Low Technology’

Visual support startegies that do not have any electronic orbattery operated device.  They are typically low cost and easy to use.  They may include binders, file folders, photo albums, or pictures.

‘Mid Technology’

Simple devices that allow you to program the device, put inthe pictures, and record your voice. They range from simple 1 picture devices up to 128 picture display that you control.

‘High Technology’

A computer generated device that allows the user an extensive amount of vocabulary available to them at any time.  These devices are pre-programed and have computer-generated voice. These are the most comprehensive and expensive communication device.