What is AAC?

October is AAC Awareness month – AAC stands for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, which can be life changing for so many people, including some of those living with cerebral palsy. Below, Jill tells us about her experiences of using a communication device, and how important it is to be able to speak and be heard.

Communication is really important in everyone’s life, without communication no one would be able to say hello, how are you, or ask anyone how are you doing? Or what’s your name or how do you feel? For someone who has cerebral palsy like myself and can’t talk it is very difficult to live life!

Augmentative and Alternative communication or (AAC) can help people to communicate through a symbol book or sign language or a Communication device and lots more.

As someone who has cerebral palsy and not be able to talk I have been using AAC all of my life, from using a symbol book to having a few communication devices. The communication device which I use just now is called Accent 1400, and I use a tracker dot to access my programme on my device. The dot is on my head, and it is like infrared.

My communication device gives me a life really. Well, it gives me a voice for a start and it gives me access to a lot of things, for example to the internet, using computer, the phone and lots more.

There are good and bad things using a communication device. The good things are it makes my life so much better as I can talk to everyone and tell them what’s on my mind. It lets me get my word across and also because I can use a computer through my communication device that enables me to work. The bad things are when it breaks; people won’t talk to me because they don’t understand that I can talk to them, but in a different way.

When my communication device breaks it is hell for me because I can’t do anything and that’s really frustrating.

My communication device is my life and I don’t know what I would do without it! A lot of people don’t realize just how important communication is.


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