Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) describes methods of communication which can be used by children, or adults, who find communication difficult because they have little or no clear speech. It adds to or replaces spoken communication. AAC can also help the user’s understanding, as well as provide a means of expression.
AAC systems may involve combinations of the following methods:
- Objects of reference;
- Signing and gesture, including use of Signalong;
- PECs (Picture Exchange Communication systems);
- Symbol systems such as Widgit /Communicate in Print;
- Communication books and Charts;
Speech Output Devices, from single message switches to Complex Dynamic Screen devices.
The toolkit wants to support – teachers, professionals working in school environments, educators, therapists and all persons interested in developing tools to facilitate communication – in creating effective tools that will enable the person with communication difficulties in:
- Accessing school curriculum;
- Been included in educational and social paths;
- Achieving success whichever school he/she attends, including special schools;
- Reaching independence, opportunity to choose and social integration to realise their life project.
The toolkit concept is very practical and starts from the objective of the intervention and goes through tools available, examples of tools (both traditional and digital resources), references and pictograms database.