Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

  • Amy S. GoldmanEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1518


Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is a set of procedures and processes by which an individual’s communication skills can be maximized for functional and effective communication. AAC approaches supplement or replace natural speech with aided options that incorporate the use of some type of device ranging from simple picture communication systems to complex speech generating devices and/or unaided options that involve only the individual’s body, such as sign language. AAC may be used to augment understanding as well as written or oral expression. A “multimodal” approach that includes both devices and unaided strategies may be most effective in meeting the individual’s communication needs.

Historical Background

Prior to about 1970, AAC was not a widely accepted intervention technique and could even be described as contraindicated in the professional literature. At that time, it was thought that the act of vocal production was a critical building block of human...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs (ATAP)SpringfieldUSA