Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) strategies describe the way people supplement their communication when they can not speak clearly enough to be understood by those around them. Is there a need for Augmentative & Alternative Communication Intervention in South Africa? Internationally it is estimated that 1,5-2% of the general school population is in need of AAC services. In South Africa the prevalence of little or no functional speech (LNFS) seems much higher than in other Western countries: A study within the greater Pretoria, for example, showed that 39% of all children in schools for children with severe disabilities could be regarded as having LNFS. These quotes illustrate the drastic effects that the inability to communicate can have on an individuals life. Anyone who has some speech but requires an augmentative device for purposes of writing or carrying on long conversations.
To give every individual ways to express needs and wants, to share their feelings, thoughts and ideas to those with whom they interact. AAC communication is a multi-disciplinary field and involves the user, parents as well professionals who they are working with e.g. Assessment should be ongoing to reevaluate and monitor the specific needs of the individual client. Sign language is a common unaided communication mode that is linguistic based and allows for the individual to express an unlimited number of messages to the listener. Aided communication – An AAC aid is any “device, either electronic or non-electronic, that is used to transmit or receive messages”.


All of these symbols could be used individually or used as a combination in order to help the individual communicate more fluently. Low-tech: these are communication aides that do not require batteries, electricity or electronics. High-tech: these are communication aides that allow for the storage and retrieval of electronic messages. About UsOur team of experienced board-certified behavior analysts, licensed psychologists, supervisors, senior behavior therapists and behavior therapists have a combined experience of over 100 years in helping children who face a variety of challenges. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising.
The Certificate of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is an online professional development program that will provide you with the knowledge and skills to communicate with people who have complex communication needs (CCN) through the effective use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) strategies and systems. This course is delivered completely ONLINE via our elearning system, with printed materials available for purchase (optional and subject to availability). These strategies include a wide range of communication methods ranging from gestures and communication boards to assistive communication devices.
In addition, it is known that approximately 20% of all people with little or no functional speech is cognitively within normal limits. AAC can be used with individuals with impairments in the production or comprehension of spoken or written language.
Signing can be used alone or could be supplemental to speech as a means of supporting the individual’s communication.


Most of the type these communication aides are very simple, they could be in the form of communication boards or books.
Most of these types of devices allows for the individual to communicate by using speech output through the device. One would need to assess or evaluate the individual’s skills in order to identify if sign is the most appropriate communication mode. Aided communication modes are very diverse in that they vary greatly in order to support the individual’s needs. One would need to evaluate for motor, visual, cognitive, language and communication strengths and deficits before identifying the right type of AAC method. Once again, one would need to evaluate the specific skills that the individual has in order to indentify the best mode of communication. It is important to remember that each individual is unique; therefore identifying a mode of communication that is most beneficial and effective in helping that individual express their wants, needs and emotions is the best route to take. The individual communicating may need to use symbols that are programmed into the device or they could communicate through the means of typing with letters. Symbol selection or typing could be used individually or in combination in order to help the individual communicate more efficiently.



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