Communication Assistance Device


Communication, written or verbal, is essential for interacting with others. People with disabilities whose written or verbal communication are affected need an alternative way of talking. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices takes care of this need.

Non Electric AAC Devices

  • Alphabet Boards
  • Picture and Word Boards
  • Picture Books When using one of these devices, the person uses:
  • a series of letters to spell a word
  • or a series of pictures to convey a thought or message
  • spelling out every word can be time consuming
  • pictures and symbols are limited by amount that can fit on a page or board
  • some words and ideas can not be conveyed by a picture
  • devices require a communication partner to assist the user and discern what he or she is trying to communicate

Electronic AAC Devices

Electronic devices allow the user to create sentences on-the-spot and communicate with others more interactively. Portable

  • Digital speech output (recorded human speech)
  • Synthesized speech output (electronic speech)
  • Prerecorded messages (Hello, Good Morning etc.)
  • Ability formulate messages spontaneously
  • Recording time depends on memory of the device
  • Displays that can be changed to allow user to select more words Tools to access communication devices: • Pointing devices, handheld, placed in mouth or attached to a headband
  • Switch may be operated by a hand, foot, shoulder, face or head
  • Eye Gaze

Communication Facilitators

Communication Facilitators assist people with cognitive disabilities to communicate, usually in a meeting or business situation. Tools used by Communication Facilitators when speaking with a person with a cognitive disability communicate:

  • Use language that is concrete rather than abstract
  • Be specific • Use simple, direct sentences
  • Provide information gradually and clearly
  • Reduce background noise, if possible
  • Repeat information using different wording
  • Allow time for the information to be fully understood
  • Ask the person to repeat what was said
  • Do not expect all people to read well, some may not read at all
  • Be patient, flexible and supportive