Implementation Toolkit

Valuable, real-life resources and suggestions for implementing AAC to encourage successful communication. The Implementation Toolkit is a collection of video and print-based resources created to help you facilitate successful interaction using AAC.

AAC 101

This learning path presents essential information about AAC including definitions of terms (e.g., What is AAC and who can use it?, What are symbols?, What is word prediction?, What is a selection method?) as well as foundational ideas and techniques (Moving Beyond Requesting, Questions that Expand Conversation). Use these resources to build your own skills or to pass on to others.

What is AAC and who can use it?
This handout offers a definition of AAC and a brief introduction to who might benefit from its use.

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Communication Success Screening Tool
Do you know someone who has difficulty communciating with others? The following checklist may help you determine whether you should explore some communication tools that could help.

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Myths – AAC will Keep Someone from Talking
Updated! When introduction of AAC is suggested, the concern regarding its affect on speech is often raised. This resource shares research demonstrating that AAC does not impede speech production but, in many cases, introduction of AAC actually results in gains in speech production.

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What are expressive and receptive language skills?
Expressive and receptive language skills are often misunderstood terms. This handout provides a basic definition and differentiates them from speech and hearing.

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Symbols
Introduces you to what symbols are and how we use them to communicate

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Selection Methods – Overview
Provides an overview of the different selection methods (e.g., direct, indirect) for low and high technology AAC.

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Selection Methods – Primary Selection Method
Explains the factors to consider in deciding on a primary selection method.

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Selection Methods – Secondary Selection Method
Explains the factors to consider in deciding on a secondary selection method.

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Effect of Positioning
Discusses the effect positioning can have on communication. View our videos on "Operational Skills" for more information as well as the "Operational Skills - Positioning - Overview", datasheets with teaching hints and visual supports.

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Positioning – Mounting
Explains the benefit of mounting the device when an AAC User uses a wheelchair

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Transporting - Overview
Provides information on appropriate transportation of AAC devices as well as setup and potential goals. View our videos on "Operational Skills" for more information as well as the datasheets with teaching hints and visual supports.

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Interacting with InterAACT – Visual Scenes
Updated! Information about the benefits of visual scenes for AAC users. Learn more about the language elements in InterAACT with our "Interacting with InterAACT" video and print resources.

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Interacting with InterAACT – Word Prediction
Information about the benefits and considerations for use of word prediction with AAC users. Learn more about the language elements in InterAACT with our "Interacting with InterAACT" video and print resources.

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Multiple Communication Methods - Overview
Supports the use of a variety of communication methods for every communicator. Use our “Multiple Communication Methods – Worksheet” to share information on an AAC user's methods of communicating. Samples are available as well.

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Communication Breakdown Plan – Overview
A Communication Breakdown Plan is a tool to repair conversation when an AAC User is not understood or is misunderstood. This resource discusses this in greater detail and provides hints for implementation. Use our Communication Breakdown Plan Worksheet to create and communicate a plan for a specific AAC user. See our samples as well (Communication Breakdown Plan - Worksheet Samples).

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Preferred or Nonpreferred for Communication
For some AAC Users, it is challenging to know if they are communicating what they really want or just randomly choosing. This handout provides some ideas for discovering the difference and encouraging purposeful selection of symbols.

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Symbolic Communication Enhancement
Some individuals communicate through nonsymbolic means (e.g., pulling others to what they want, behavior). This handout discusses the benefits of communicating symbolically (e.g., words, pictures, etc.)

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Communicating beyond Basic Needs
Discussion of how and why it is important to move beyond basic needs when using AAC

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Preplanning Communication Opportunities
For AAC Users and communication partners, this handout explains why preparation for communication opportunities is important and how to do it.

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Communicating with Spelling
Provides options (e.g. tools and features) and considerations for communicating using spelling

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Questions that Expand Communication
Discusses the difference between questions that encourage and enhance conversation with an AAC user and those that tend to shut it down.

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Responding to an AAC User
Encourages communication partners to respond naturally to the communication of AAC users

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Updating Vocabulary
Explains the importance of updating the vocabulary in an AAC User’s device

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Whose Voice is it
Reminds us that the communication device is the AAC User’s voice and discusses how that affects what we program into the device

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Challenges of AAC
Shares the challenges that can occur as use of AAC is implemented while encouraging focus on the positive outcomes.

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Functional vs Therapeutic Therapy Approach
Assists you in considering how to approach teaching of communication skills using AAC

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Implementation Toolkit

The Implementation Toolkit is a collection of video and print-based resources created to help you facilitate successful interaction using AAC.

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