Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Increasing Effective and Consistent Use Across Environments

The ability to use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) across all environments is vital to the lives of individuals with severe communication deficits. Individuals who use AAC are shown to have decreased maladaptive behaviors and increased ability to function within their environment. However, research also shows that students with severe communication deficits do not access AAC devices across all environments, particularly at home and in the community. The purpose of this project is to create a means to increase student use of AAC across environments through training communication partners in the basics of AAC and effective AAC use. Through proper training and knowledge communication partners will feel more confident in their ability to support AAC thus increasing the potential for use with the student. This has the potential to be life changing for individuals with severe communication deficits, as it will increase their opportunities for independent living, employment, and social and recreational experiences.