Janice Light & David McNaughton
Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Current technologies provide individuals with complex communication needs with a powerful array of communication, information, organization, and social networking options. However, there is the danger that the excitement over these new devices will result in a misplaced focus on the technology, to the neglect of what must be the central focus – the people with complex communication needs who require augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). In order to truly harness the power of technology, rehabilitation and educational professionals must ensure that AAC intervention is driven, not by the devices, but rather by the communication needs of the individual. Furthermore, those involved in AAC research and development activities must ensure that the design of AAC technologies is driven by an understanding of motor, sensory, cognitive, and linguistic processing, in order to minimize learning demands and maximize communication power for individuals with complex communication needs across the life span.