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Speech Therapy: The ABCs of AAC

A Wish List for the Future of AAC

Published March 6, 2015 8:28 AM by Kimberly Jasensky

Over the past year I have had the opportunity to share much of my thoughts and practices with you. I’ve had the opportunity to share stories of success as well as those that were tough learning experiences. Today, I would like to share my vision of the future.

Some things on my list I know are in the works, but have not yet reached my door as a practicing clinician. Some are things that will take time to implement and we as therapists will need a little ingenuity to make them happen, all of these things to me would improve communication and independence with all populations that we work with.

Earlier Access to SGDs
Whether it is a non-verbal child or someone who has had a stroke; access to communication will allow for improved language development for the young and improve recovery for those with acquired communication disorders. We should refer earlier for both.

More Voice Options
Currently there are a limited number of voice choices on SGDs to choose from (although many more than only a few years ago). More voice options give users the opportunity to sound unique and to have a voice that more accurately reflects not only their sex but their age. You could donate your voice to help this come true, check it out.

More Access Options for the Physically Disabled
Eye gaze, head tracking and switches are all great options for many users; however for some their physical disability may inhibit use that matches their cognitive and communication ability. Other options are being developed, and will be welcomed. We need to be able to better fine tune the way users communicate.

More Comprehensive Support for Educators
One of the most challenging aspects of working with young users is helping the educators who work with users in the schools.  The level of should support should match the user, and  the environment in which they are communicating.  This is a tall order, but I’m sure some districts and SLPs are coming up with some great solutions to these challenges. I would love for you to share.

Devices that Matches the Need of the User, Not the Insurance Company
Any user should be able to get the device that matches their ability that suits their communication needs and allows for most independent use of the device for timely communication of wants and needs. It is frustrating when you have to limit a user’s choices based on insurance company preferences instead of actual need.

More SLPs Involved in AAC
We do not all need to be experts to assist those that need technology to communicate. We just need to reach out to those out there who want to help. Many organizations and companies would love to assist, take the time to check it out.

These are just some simple wishes that I have. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for our profession and for those we serve. Thank you for following along on my journey over the last year. I hope that this was  as educational and enjoyable for you as it has been for me.

2 comments

I would suggest reaching out to ASHA or to any local colleges that provide degrees for SLP. Good luck.

Kimmi Jasensky September 13, 2015 7:21 AM
Orange Park FL

Please recommend an Independent Mentor for Speech Language Pathology in Northern New Jersey who will sign off on my therapy hours.  I'm in need of CC's. I need 20 more hours. I provide therapy in a private school setting, mainly articulation disorders.

Juanita Mohamed, Speech Therapy - Speech Language Specialist, Independent August 25, 2015 11:54 AM
Jersey City NJ

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