Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems
Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems Cook and Hussey, Chapter 11 Damian Gordon
What is Assistive Technology? “Any product, instrument, equipment or technical system used by a disabled or elderly person, made specially or existing on the market, aimed to prevent, compensate, relieve or neutralise the deficiency, the inability or the handicap.” International ISO-9999 Standard
Introduction AAC are “designed to ameliorate the communication problems of people who have severe speech and language impairments across the age span.”
Introduction It’s important to remember that… Language is any conventional system of arbitrary symbols organized according to a set of rules. Speech is the oral expression of langauge
Disabilities Affecting Speech,Language, and Communication Dysarthria is a disorder of motor speech control resulting from central or peripheral nervous system damage that causes weakness, slowness, and a lack of coordination of the muscles necessary for speech production.
Disabilities Affecting Speech,Language, and Communication Apraxia is a disorder affecting the coordination of motor movements involved in producing speech caused by a central nervous system dysfunction.
Disabilities Affecting Speech,Language, and Communication Aphasia is a language disorder that occurs as a result of a cerebral vascular accident to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). It can affect both expression of spoken and written language, e.g. some people can forget names, places, or events. Others may lose the ability to understand spoken langauge.
Disabilities Affecting Speech,Language, and Communication Other conditions ameliorated by ACC – Cerebral Palsy – Autism – Stoke – Spinal Cord Injury – Degenerative Diseases
AAC Assessment and Evaluation A predictive assessment means that you attempt to understand a person’s needs and status both today and predict their future needs. A serial assessment is a continuing evaluation to meet changing needs. A curriculum-based assessment is continuous in classrooms to help coordinate AAC interventions with the achievement of educational goals.
Barriers to Participation Consider the case of a child with a speech difficulty, if their school that purchases a speech-generating device (SGD), the child will have to leave the device at school when they go home. This creates a real barrier into providing full societal participation. But school typically allow student to take home musical instruments, why is this?
Assessing Representation A unique problem in the domain of AAC is determining the symbols an individual can use to communicate.
High-Tech AAC Systems Human-Technology Interface – The interface allows the client to access the low-, medium, or high-tech device. – These can be joysticks, keyboards, switches, mouses, etc. – Most selection sets use visible symbols, so people with visual impairments need an alternative approach.
Vocabulary Retrieval Techniques Abbreviation expansion Word prediction Word completion
Vocabulary Retrieval Techniques Instant phrases are those used frequently for greetings, conversational repairs (e.g. “that’s not what I mean”), or similar actions; these are often encoded as single keystrokes, or near the beginning of a scanning matrix. Coding of words, sentences or phrases on the basis of their meaning is known as Semantic Encoding or Minspeak.
Vocabulary Retrieval Techniques A picture of an apple could mean “food” A picture of the sun could mean “morning” Then a picture of an apple and the sun could mean “What’s for breakfast?”
Mainstream Technologies e-mail – because of the asynchronous nature of e-mail, a conversation typically takes place at a slower rate – It allows people to communicate without being present in the same physical location – AAC users report that they enjoy establishing relationships with people who experience them first as people and second as having a disability
Mainstream Technologies Mobile phones – As phones get more open-source leads to a greater diversity in software tools such as text-to- speech, voice recognition, and downloadable user profiles – Cameras being built into phones as help those CCN users
Vocabulary Selection Once an AAC is selected, it is necessary to create an individual vocabulary set for programming into the device. Some conversation categories are presented in the following pair of slides.
Vocabulary Selection (1 of 2) Category Sample VocabularyInitiating and Interaction Hey, I’ve got something to say Check this out Come talk to me May I help you?Greetings Hello, I’m pleased to meet you. Where have you been? I’ve been waiting forever. What’s happening?Response to greetings I’m fine. Great, how are you? Not so hot, and you?Requests I’d like a_____________ (object, event) I’d like to go to__________(place, event)
Vocabulary Selection (2 of 2) Category Sample VocabularyInformation Exchange What time is it? I have a question. The concert begins at 8pm.Commenting I agree. / I disagree. What a great idea! Uh-huh. OK.Wrap-Up/farewell Well, gotta go. See you later. Bye, nice talking to youConversational Repair Let’s start over. That’s not what I meant. You misunderstood me.
Vocabulary Selection Vocabulary needs to vary by context, communication mode, and individual characteristics. Good stuff at; – http://aac.unl.edu/vbstudy
Physical Skill Development AAC devices require physical skill to operate them effectively. It takes practice. It is important to distinguish between the physical skills required to use an AAC device from the communication skills needed to employ it.
Communicative Competence Depends on many factors. The context in the HAAT mode affects competence in several ways. The partner and his or her skill in listening, the environment of use, and the cultural factors all contribute to or detract from communicative competence.