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Augmentative Communication Systems

Some people have difficulty making themselves understood in face-to-face conversation because of speech difficulties.  The type of accommodation used depends on why they are difficult to understand.

  • A person with a very quiet voice may not be understood over background sounds.  A personal speech amplifier can allow greater volume.
  • Some people are not able to speak in an understandable way and may use a dedicated augmentative or alternative communication (AAC) device as a means of communication.
  • Rather than a dedicated device, some people prefer to add communication capabilities to a device they are already using.
  • For those who live in a low-tech environment, communication boards, books, or overlays provide limited communication that does not depend on electricity.
  • Some communication devices can be enhanced by add-ons such as preferred voices, or by accessories such as carrying straps.
  • None of these devices should be purchased without a careful evaluation or assessment of communication needs.

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