Speech-Language & AAC
The speech-language and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) department specializes in supporting the use of multimodal tools and strategies to enhance participation, learning, and communication. We collaborate heavily with families, caregivers, and members of the school team to create the most effective communication systems for each student.
We want to empower our students with a means to express their wants, needs, and ideas by providing ample amounts of meaningful and motivating choice-making opportunities. We incorporate a multisensory approach, which involves pairing choices with a variety of sensory inputs, including auditory, visual, tactile, and olfactory.
It is vital that each of our students have varied and ample opportunities to access communication tools and educational materials. We desire to see each student reach their full potential as active participants of our program by providing the appropriate alternative access tools. We capitalize on each AAC learner’s strengths and abilities to shape the motoric, cognitive, and communicative skills needed for intentional use of the equipment.
Social and Functional Communication
We facilitate social interactions between our students and their peers to foster meaningful relationships. Additionally, we support the use of communication systems across a variety of settings so that students can become important members of their community.
Our AAC specialists conduct comprehensive AAC assessments and Speech Generating Device (SGD) evaluations that reflect the skills and needs of the whole individual. We look at current communication and language skills as well as communication needs that can be addressed with an alternative system. Our recommendations (e.g., for equipment, services, goals, etc.) are highly individualized to fit what is most appropriate for each student.
Designing Customized AAC Systems
We desire to provide our AAC users with access to vocabulary that is meaningful, colorful, and powerful. We design highly customized AAC systems and thoughtfully organize the messages to promote efficient use. We encourage the use of both unaided and aided communication modes to most effectively express their thoughts.