An introduction to augmentative and alternative communication
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An introduction to Augmentative and Alternative Communication. NSW Department of Education & Training NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au. What is Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)?. AAC

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An introduction to augmentative and alternative communication

An introduction to Augmentative and Alternative Communication

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


What is augmentative and alternative communication aac

What is Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)?

  • AAC

    Symbols, aids, strategies and techniques that serve to supplement speech

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


Types of aac

Unaided Support

Facial expressions & body language

Gesture

Mime

Key Word Signing

Signed English

AUSLAN

Finger Spelling

Olfactory (smell)

Aided Support

Objects

Logos

Photographs

Line Drawings

- pictographs

- symbols

Sight Vocabulary

Orthography

Speech/Vocalisations

Types of AAC

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


Why do we use aac

Why do we use AAC?

  • some students may have biological and neurological impairments.

  • speech is complex and transient.

  • IT’S FUNCTIONAL!!!

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


Why use visuals

Why use visuals?

Improve understanding and expression

decrease fear & anxiety

teach

self management

enhance

memory

aid shifting & establishing attention

promote

independence

Support appropriate behaviour

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


Why do we use visual communication

some students may be visual learners

visual communication is permanent, consistent, tangible and concrete

Why do we use visual communication?

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


An introduction to augmentative and alternative communication

Profile of a visual learner?

  • A visual learner may :

  • prefer to read, to see the words, illustrations and diagrams

  • talk quite fast, using lots of images

  • memorise by writing repeatedly

  • when inactive, looks around, doodles or watches something

  • when starting to understand something says, ‘That looks right’

  • be most distracted by untidiness

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


How do we use aac

multimodal-approach students may need and use more than one approach, ie speech, sign, symbol

immersion in AAC across environments

practise within everyday activities at home, school and community

How do we use AAC?

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


Assessing symbolic understanding

Assessing symbolic understanding

  • What does the student currently use?

    • objects logo/symbol picture word

  • What does the student look at/attend to?

    • person, object, favourite toy, etc.

  • What does the student select when given a choice?

  • What can the student link to a referent?

    • will point to, request using a sign, exchange symbol, locate with verbal direction

coke

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


An introduction to augmentative and alternative communication

Visuals support students in a range of environments

Photos to assist with a sequence for unpacking a bag reduces verbal directions and build student independence.

An example of visuals supporting behaviour and task at home.

Picture Communication Symbols (PCS) support expected behaviours.

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


Tips for making visuals photos

Tips for making visuals - photos

  • centre the object

  • eliminate backgrounds or other items – use a plain background if possible

  • when possible, make photos generic.

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


Making visuals photos

Making Visuals - photos

  • When using photos think about:

  • clear focused photos

  • one object at a time when teaching new vocabulary

  • always add the written word

towel

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


Making visuals photos1

Making Visuals - photos

Avoid using a flash which can result in a distraction to the photo for students.

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


Designing visual systems

Designing visual systems

When developing a visual system you need to consider the following issues for the student:

  • cognitive skills

  • portability

  • durability

  • accessibility

  • visual skills

  • storage

  • ownership of system

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


Consider student s visual skills

Consider student’s visual skills

  • follow recommendations by a therapist if available

  • visual perception skills – colours and patterns

  • disability specific knowledge, ie vision impairment, colour blindness, etc.

  • age-specific requirements such as use of colour and words, eg a toddler’s need compared with a teenager or adult


Consider language

Consider Language

  • use the language of the student or their equivalent age group peers

  • where possible develop the communication system in consultation with the student

stir fry

Chinese


A thought

A thought…

  • Implementing a visual system without assessing symbolic understanding, is like recommending a wheelchair without taking measurements

  • After assessing, developing, implementing and teaching a visual system it is important to evaluate its impact

  • Is the student able to:

    • recognise the visuals/objects?

    • consistently use these for the purpose developed?

    • generalise using the support?

  • If not start again.

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


Accessing symbols

Accessing Symbols

Symbols for visual supports can be accessed from a variety of sources including the following examples:

  • empty packets

  • broken equipment

  • remnants from activities

  • labels from packaging

  • catalogues & advertisements

  • photo software programs, eg Picture This and Flash Pro

  • BoardMaker – Picture Communication Symbols (PCS)

  • Writing With Symbols – PCS and Rebus

  • websites – www.dotolearn.com and www.usevisualstrategies.com

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


Making visuals using velcro

GOLDEN VELCRO RULE!!

SOFT VELCRO (LOOP) ON THE WALLS, BOARD OR BOOK (can also use Frontrunner fabric)

ROUGH VELCRO (HOOK) ON THE INDIVIDUAL SYMBOLS

Making Visuals – using velcro

Communication systems and individual symbols become interchangeable and compatible, providing you follow the:

Velcro loop

Velcro hook

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


False assumptions about using visuals and the students who need them

False assumptions about using visuals and the students who need them

  • It will stop him from learning to talk.

  • He understands everything I say.

  • It will make him look disabled.

  • He can’t use that, he’s an adult.

  • I know what he wants.

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


An introduction to augmentative and alternative communication

I hear and I forget.

I see and I remember.

I do and I understand.

Chinese proverb.

NSW Department of Education & Training

NSW Public Schools – Leading the Way www.det.nsw.edu.au


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