AAC Community

AAC for SLPs

Are you an SLP new to AAC?

Here are some resources for speech-language pathologists new to working with augmentative and alternative communication. These articles focus on using evidence-based practices for working with people who cannot speak verbally well enough to meet their needs.

AAC Insurance Resources

Support for Insurance Reports Writing a new insurance report can feel like starting off on a trek across the desert with no water. It may feel hard to take that first step. However, there are resources that can help you…
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AAC Insurance Requests

An insurance request for an AAC system requires specific information.  Each funding source (insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, etc.) and state may have different requirements.  Below is a guide to writing a report for insurance submission based on common Pennsylvania funding sources. …
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AAC Evaluation and Data Gathering Tools

Below are some tools that can be used to gather data while completing an AAC evaluation.  Whether the evaluation is formal for insurance request submission, or to monitor progress, these tools can provide insight into an individual’s skills. Criterion-Referenced Tools…
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AAC Using Competencies to Guide Our Work

Having a communication device doesn’t make you an effective communicator any more than having a piano makes you a musician. – Beukelman, 1991 There is more to AAC than a particular communication method, system, or device.  Regardless of how a…
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AAC: Based in Evidence

EBP and AAC What does Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) entail? The ASHA Code of Ethics calls upon SLPs and SLPAs to “evaluate the effectiveness of services provided, technology employed, and products dispensed, and they shall provide services or dispense products only…
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AAC in the IEP

***Please note these are suggestions.  All IEPs MUST be individualized to meet the unique needs of each student.  If a student needs AAC, then it is important for that information to be included in the IEP.  This ensures that the…
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AAC Light Tech – Device Backups and More

Light Tech Can Be the Right Tech Light Tech AAC can be the right solution in a number of different circumstances. It should not be seen as “less than” or less important than high tech AAC devices. For one thing,…
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AAC & The Descriptive Teaching Method

Access to Descriptive Language AAC users need to learn language, not just make rote responses. They need the ability to say new things and not just mechanically respond. Many SLPs are now familiar with the concept of Core Vocabulary. These…
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AAC: Core Vocabulary

Everyday Words Without Core Vocabulary, it is impossible to discuss ideas that go beyond the here and now. Imagine you are an AAC user and have only the following words: pizza, dog, ball, chocolate, music, and chips. These nouns, often…
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AAC and Literacy

Everyone deserves access to literacy and all students have the ability to learn literacy skills, given the right instructional tools and strategies. Presumption of the ability to learn applies to this area as well. Fortunately, there are some amazing clinicians…
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AAC Modeling

What is Modeling AAC? Modeling is a strategy that falls under the broader category of Aided Language Stimulation. This technique draws from the research on natural language development. When an infant is born, we model language, but don’t expect a…
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AAC and Teletherapy

Since the pandemic, teachers and therapists have worked harder than ever before. It is not easy to make online AAC implementation fun and effective. We at TechOWL have the utmost respect for all of you! This post is meant to…
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AAC Tech Goes Wrong

Tech happens Devices get spilled on, software gets deleted. Basically, things break. We can take precautions that allow us to ensure continued communication and get our tech repaired or restored. This applies to both light tech and high tech AAC…
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AAC Users & Transitions

Throughout the lifespan, there are many changes and transitions that can impact AAC users.  Some of these are major life events like high school graduation.  But others may occur more frequently, like changes in a routine or moving from grade…
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AAC Curriculum Resources

Learning an AAC system is like learning any language.  Students need to be immersed in their language for the best outcome.  It is important that the curriculum be adapted to the student’s AAC language.  Here is a list of some…
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AAC Decision Making: The SETT Framework

What is SETT? SETT stands for Student, Environment, Tasks, & Tools. This is a framework that helps to organize the information we gather about a student needing assistive technology (AT). It helps us to match the needs and abilities of…
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