top of page
Non-verbal girl living with cerebral palsy, learning to use digital tablet device to commu
Special need child on wheelchair use a tablet in the house with his parent, Study or Work

All About AAC

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)  refers to ALL methods of communication other than natural speech. 

AAC tools help individuals with speech and/or language difficulties communicate with others. 

Types of AAC

Who Uses AAC?

Technically, everyone! We all use a variety of methods to share our thoughts, ideas, feelings, and needs with others. You are using AAC any time you use gestures or facial expressions to clarify or emphasize your speech OR when you use them instead of talking all together.

Though some people rely on AAC tools to communicate more effectively and/or more fully.


People who use AAC, or AAC users, are individuals who's speech and/or language abilities are not meeting their communication needs. There are many reasons an individual might need AAC to either support or replace their speech to communicate, though some common diagnoses amongst AAC users include: developmental delays, autism, down syndrome, motor speech disorders (e.g., apraxia, dysarthria), cerebral palsy, physical impairments, cognitive impairments, traumatic brain injury, degenerative diseases (e.g., ALS, Parkinson's), stroke, cancer, etc.

For Community Members!

I asked a group of AAC users, "What do you want community members to know about AAC and/or AAC users?"

See the quotes below for their responses!

“AAC gives me a voice. I don't have to depend on others to speak for me. I can order pizza when I go to a restaurant. I can share jokes with my friends. I can participate in prayers at church. I can play games with my friends. I can participate in my I.E.P. meetings. I can advocate for myself."

H. (14 year-old AAC user)

A tip for community members!

AAC can slow down communication - when interacting with someone who's using AAC please be patient while they formulate their messages and don't try to fill in their sentences or talk for them (unless they ask you to). 

You can also use AAC to communicate with others and support language and learning for all! Use what you have access to: gestures, pictures, pen/paper, etc.


Click the button below to access a digital core communication board. You can use it on a mobile device or computer, or print it out.

AAC Quick Facts

1 / AAC is a powerful tool that helps people connect and communicate with their family, friends, and community
2 / All forms of communication are valid
3 / AAC can be beneficial for both speaking and non-speaking individuals
4 / There are NO pre-requisites for AAC
5 / There is no hierarchy of AAC tools that an individual must progress through
6 / AAC will NOT hinder or prevent speech development

Everyone has something to say! AAC can give you a way
to say it. 

If you know someone (yourself, your child, a loved one, etc.) that may benefit from AAC - Boldly Communicating can help you identify and implement AAC systems through assessment and treatment. 

bottom of page