Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)


Used by persons with speech and language disabilities, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), utilizes alternative communication methods to supplement or replace speech and/or writing. Examples may include low-technology communication aids such as books to high-technology speech-generating devices with storage and retrieval functionality.


The use of manual alphabets was first recorded during the 16th century in Europe to facilitate communication between cultures and diverse languages. In the last one hundred years, AAC has made dramatic leaps in technology, from the first known communication board in 1920 to Speech-generating devices (SGCs) with extensive capabilities, such as the device used by Steven Hawking in lectures and other speeches.