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

Friday, August 9, 2013

Some government programs implementing or supporting facilitated communication (not a comprehensive list)

Here is a brief list of some government programs or government-funded programs that are implementing or supporting facilitated communication training around the world (not a comprehensive list): 

State of Massachusetts, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  Facilitated Communication is included in the Guidelines for Preparation of Teachers of Students with Moderate and Severe Disabilities: "Approved programs should ensure that teachers of students with moderate or severe disabilities: 1. understand educational, communication and professional terminology and concepts related to augmentative and alternative communication and assistive technologies; 2. are familiar with the range of AAC devices and methodologies as defined in 603 CMR 7.02, and facilitated communication, that can be used to effectively teach students. Some examples of ACC devices and methodologies include: Communication Aids--Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)...Dynamic displays...Auditory Scanning...Facilitated communication..."

Programa de Habilitaci├│n del Lenguaje a trav├ęs de la Escritura en Autismo y otros Trastornos Severos del Desarrollo.  This program is now an Extension Program at the School of Psychology of the University of Buenos Aires, and as such has undergone stringent reviews.  Below is the link. 
Director: Lic. Daniel Orlievsky (who has published widely in Spanish language journals on his research on facilitated communication)

Italy has four accredited FC centers:  the Centro Studi e Ricerca in Neuroriabilitazione CNAPP in Rome, the Centro Studi sulla Comunicazione Facilitata – W.O.C.E. in Zoagli (GE), the Instituto M.P.P. Padri Trinitari A. Quarto di Palo in Andria (BA), and the Centro Sperimentale per i Disturbi dello Sviluppo e della Comunicazione in Padua.  These are noted in the chapter “Statistical Analysis of Textual Data from Corpora of Written Communication—New Results from an Italian Interdisciplinary Research Program (EASIEST) by Lorenzo Bernardi and Arjuna Tuzzi, University of Padua, Italy, in the book A Comprehensive Book on Autism Spectrum Disorders,in the Acknowledgements on page 429. 

Vermont Communication Task Force