A Wish List for the Future of AAC
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
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
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
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.