Assistive Technology

According to the American Speech Language Hearing Association, “(AAC) is an area of clinical practice that supplements or compensates for impairments in speech-language production and/or comprehension, including spoken and written modes of communication. AAC falls under the broader umbrella of assistive technology, or the use of any equipment, tool, or strategy to improve functional daily living in individuals with disabilities or limitations.

AAC uses a variety of techniques and tools to help the individual express thoughts, wants and needs, feelings, and ideas, including the following:

  • manual signs
  • gestures
  • finger spelling
  • tangible objects
  • line drawings
  • picture communication boards and letter boards
  • speech-generating devices

AAC is augmentative when used to supplement existing speech, alternative when used in place of speech that is absent or not functional, or temporary as when used by patients postoperatively in intensive care (Elsahar et al., 2019).”