Tethered to Technology: Selecting the Most Appropriate AAC DeviceBy Bruno, Joan; TherapyTimes,
Publication Date: January 31, 2010
Article describes the process of selecting an appropriate augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device for a student with a communication disability. The guidance of a speech-language pathologist (SLP) knowledgeable in AAC is recommended for the device selection process. Patient evaluation for an AAC should include - (1) present communication status; (2) physical abilities and limitations; (3) visual and perceptual abilities and limitations; (4) cognitive and language abilities and limitations; (5) symbolic abilities and limitations; and (6) behavioral considerations. The SLP should also identify the communicative contexts for which the student needs an AAC device and define the communication requirements associated with each context. The size and type of symbols the student understands should guide the selection of an AAC device. Electronic devices with touch screens, such as Saltillo Alt-Chat, DynaVox V, and PRC Springboard present constraints in terms of the size of symbols displayed as do static display devices such as TECH/Speak or Smart/128. Manual communication boards can be designed to match the student’s specific needs and abilities. The evaluation process should also include a student's potential and ability to sequence symbols to formulate messages. For students who have some speech, are ambulatory, and have good hand function, the selection of a simpler AAC tool combined with the provision of a standard computer with relevant software to fulfill their educational needs may be the best solution. The article includes two case summaries as examples of successful AAC outcomes for students with communication disabilities.
Assistive Products Discussed: SPRINGBOARD
TECH / SPEAK (MODELS TS2X32, TS4X32, & TS6X32)
Published by: Valley Forge Publishing Group (Website:http://www.valleyforgepress.com/)
Link to text: http://www.therapytimes.com/0201SLP