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Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC)

Pupils can have difficulty with face to face communication for many different reasons. Physical disabilities and motor co-ordination problems can make the production of speech difficult or impossible. People with some types of learning difficulties can find it hard to produce speech or handle spoken language.

The term AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication) is used to describe the different methods that can be used to help people with disabilities communicate with others.

As the term suggests these methods can be used as an alternative to speech or to supplement it.

Types of AAC

There are two main types of AAC—unaided systems and aided systems. Pupils may use one or both types.

Unaided Systems

These include gestures, body language, facial expressions, and sign language.

Aided Systems

An aided system uses some sort of tool or device. There are two types of aided systems - basic and high-tech. Pointing to letters, words, or pictures on a board is a basic aided system. Touching letters or pictures on a computer screen that speaks for you is a  high-tech aided system.


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Ysgol Maes Hyfryd Specialist High School, Fifth Avenue, Flint, Flintshire CH6 5QL

Tel: 01352 792720 / 01352 792727 | Email: [email protected]