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Communication- AAC and AT

AAC and AT at Highfurlong

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) refers to any means by which an individual can supplement or replace spoken communication. Communication may range from any movement or behaviour that is observed and interpreted by another person as meaningful, to the use of a code agreed upon between people where items have specific meanings, i.e. a language. We all use some form of augmentative communication in our daily life, for example, gestures (waving goodbye) and graphic symbols (washing label symbols, road signs).

AAC is both a means of accessing an educational curriculum and language in its own right. It is appropriate for individuals who have difficulty with receptive and expressive language due to physical, sensory or learning disability. It provides an opportunity to attain emotional, social, educational and vocational goals. (Sue Chinner et al, 2001)

Forms of AAC include gesture, signing, symbols, communication boards and books, as well as powered and computerised devices such as voice output communication aids (VOCAs).

Highfurlong School facilitates and encourages the use of ‘Total Communication’ in which a variety of modes of communication, including speech may be used in order to communicate effectively.