Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

What is augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)?

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is a system that utilizes multiple components, such as symbols, gestures/signs, speech generating devices and various strategies, to support communication when children or adults need to compensate temporarily or permanently due to difficulties with or in the absence of speech and/or language skills. These tools and strategies can help an individual actively participate in their daily routine or become an independent communicator.

Low-tech AAC tools include:

High-tech AAC tools include:

What types of services are offered?

AAC evaluations to assess communication needs and identify an effective and efficient means of communication using low-tech or high-tech tools.

Training for patients and caregivers on implementation of low-tech and high-tech tools once they are recommended and received.

Evaluations to identify technology that helps individuals independently access a computer and/or phone for other methods of communication, such as e-mailing or texting. These tools may also be utilized to control smart devices in the home (e.g., tv, lights, doors, etc.).

The RiteCare Clinic offers an AAC preschool that uses a total communication approach, including manual signs, pictures, speech and low-tech and high-tech AAC, to help children aged 2 to pre-K increase their expressive communication.

AAC specialists also provide educationally related AAC services for Omaha Public Schools to ensure children have an effective mode of communication to maximize learning.

Who benefits from AAC?

This can include individuals with the following medical diagnoses:

Nebraska Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) Summer Conference

Munroe-Meyer Institute's department of speech-language pathology hosts a conference annually in the summer, which focuses on a topic related to AAC supports that help children and adults achieve independent communication. Learn more about the Nebraska AAC Conference.