AAC Campaign--Get people talking about AAC and help more people get access to communication technology, training and ongoing support

We are continuing our efforts to bring awareness and understanding of the need for anyone who has limited communication to gain access to other ways to communicate, termed AAC (augmentative and alternative communication methods). These methods include other ways to speak, write and read such as electronic talking aids, computers, tablet computers, boards and books with pictures, words, and letters, Talking Mats, Communication Passports, eye-gaze, partner-assisted scanning, facilitated communication training, Rapid Prompting Method, gesture and sign language, and captioning. We encourage you to learn more and to teach others about AAC methods and how they can help with expression and with understanding what is being said.

Here are some ideas for learning more about AAC, increasing the visibility of AAC and people who use it, and helping people who use AAC to teach others about communication. Invite a person who uses AAC to make a speech or other presentation. Invite a person who uses AAC to demonstrate their communication method and to have a conversation so that others may learn better to interact with and listen to people who use various AAC systems. Host a film about AAC and invite people who use AAC to share their experiences with the audience. Connect people who are new to using AAC to communicate with mentors who are experienced users of AAC. Work with people who use AAC and their families and supporters to organize fundraising events to raise funds for AAC devices in your local area and to share information about AAC. Get local news media to interview people who use AAC and to print stories about AAC technology, the numbers of people who need AAC but may not have access, the lack of professionals trained in AAC, and related issues.

AAC Visibility and Awareness Project

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Song: Take Me to Conversation: AAC and Literacy Advocacy

Take Me to Conversation: AAC Awareness Song
(tune of Take Me Out to the Ballgame)

I must have conversation.
Teach me literacy.
It will set my conversation free.
You must introduce mentors to me.
And of course role models with help me
Because they show what can be
Self-determination and more possibilities.

Come and hang out with me, I
Talk with technology.
People call it AAC, you know,
It gives me a strong voice and although
You may think perhaps it cannot be,
I’ll show you and you’ll see,
Conversation works very well with my A-A-C.

A-A-C is just ways to
Choose, discuss, and to chat.
If perhaps speaking is hard, you see,
Then alternatives may be the key,
And with pointing, signing or typing,
Eye-gaze or switches to press
Conversation happens and takes away lots of stress.

Who you ask needs A-A-C?
Many people you see
Anyone who tries and cannot find
How to speak to say what’s on their mind.
You must never doubt that A-A-C
Sets thoughts and feelings free.
A-A-C conversation gets better with literacy.

One last thing that you must know,
Hear us before we go.
Yes, everyone does communicate.
Listen well and facilitate.
And then silence won’t have to rule ‘cause
People have A-A-C.
You can make a difference presuming competence.

So yes . . .
We all need conversation.
We need literacy.
Yes, conversation can set us free.
Mentors also help both you and me.
And of course role models can help us,
Because they show what can be:
Self-determination and more possibilities.