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Augmentative and Alternative Communication


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Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) refers to all types of communication other than oral (spoken) speech that people use to express their thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas. We all use AAC when we make facial expressions or gestures to express our emotions, use symbols or pictures to share our ideas, or write.

People who have conditions that prevent them from using spoken language may use AAC as their primary mode of communication. Two main types of the AAC systems are:

  • Aided communication systems: use other tools or equipment to convey meaning, such as picture and symbol communication boards and electronic devices.
  • Unaided communication systems: use only the individual’s body to convey meaning, including gestures, body language, and/or sign language.

Who is a Candidate?

Anyone who cannot effectively use spoken language to express themselves and communicate should consider using AAC.

What to Expect

Your speech-language pathologist (SLP) will work with you to help you understand the AAC options and recommend the best fit for your situation. You may need to try multiple options before finding the best AAC device for your needs.

Why Choose UHealth?

Ranked No. 28 in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. The ranking reflects the team’s dedication to excellence in research patient care and outcomes. Surgeons, audiologists, biomedical engineers, speech pathologists, researchers, and psychologists collaborate with many research programs at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to deliver the best possible multidisciplinary care to pediatric and adult ear, nose, and throat patients.

World-class care in an academic health system. We are recognized throughout South Florida and the world as a leader in treating conditions and disorders of the ear, nose, and throat. Backed by one of the nation’s top universities, our team uses the latest technologies and research-driven expertise to provide you with superior, personalized care and the best outcomes.

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