Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is the term used to describe various methods of communication that can ‘add-on’ to speech and are used to get around problems with ordinary speech.
Many AAC methods use no technology or simple technology. Examples include pointing, signing, using pencil and paper or word boards and symbol charts. Supporting people to use these sort of AAC methods falls within the remit of the local “spoke” speech and therapy services in Wales.
Complex or high tech AAC aids are the remit of the specialist AAC hub. The AAC hub for Wales is provided by the Electronic Assistive Technology Service (EATS).
These can be defined as AAC aids which require the use of a programmable device and include familiar equipment such as mobile devices, tablets and laptops as well as bespoke systems.
A complex AAC system may include special mounts and/or means to access it such as eye-gaze technology or switches.
Technology changes fast. If you want to know what is new, who can benefit from complex high tech AAC, the charity Communication Matters is a good place to start.