International AAC Awareness Month: How can you raise awareness?
Tips and resources to learn and spread awareness of AAC
By: Heartspring School Speech Therapy Team
In October, we get to celebrate such things as National Popcorn Poppin’ Month, Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month, and National Sarcastic Awareness Month. Our favorite thing to celebrate this month is International Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Awareness Month!
Take a moment to think of all the ways you communicate throughout your day without verbal speech. You might text, email, write, and gesture - even blogging is a form of AAC. These are all types of AAC tools that we use to support our verbal speech daily.
As speech-language pathologists, we work with a large number of individuals who have complex communication needs. For them, verbal speech can be challenging at the least, and sometimes, even impossible. These individuals and their caregivers know all too well about the importance of AAC, as they have seen first-hand the positive impact it can have on their lives.
For AAC Awareness Month, we can play an integral part in promoting awareness and normalization among a variety of communication partners. There are many practical ways we can support and raise awareness for AAC. Here are some ways you can do your part:
- Support media featuring AAC users
- Learn more about AAC through free online education opportunities.
- Subscribe to blogs or Facebook groups with AAC content
- Subscribe to blogs or Facebook groups created by AAC users or family of AAC users
- Adapt a game to accommodate AAC users by creating additional written and picture supports
- Experience a “quiet coffee” interaction where you only use visual or written supports to communicate
- Create a fundraising event where the proceeds go to finance an AAC system for a person in need
- If you see an AAC user, greet them, and if they are comfortable with it, ask about their system
These ideas are just a few ways that you can do your part and help support AAC awareness. If you have any further questions about AAC or how you can get involved, don’t hesitate to reach out to the professionals at Heartspring.
Happy International AAC Awareness Month!