4 images sign language hands, a book with 2 faces with speech bubbles, a go talk now device, picture symbol communication board

Alternative and Augmentative Communication – AAC


Many students do not yet have verbal speech that meets their daily communication needs. The use of speech generating devices (i.e. talkers or communication devices) is an important piece of their daily interactions and learning.

Communication encompasses a broad set of skills that children acquire across their day and throughout the years; adding the component of technology complicates the process of developing communication skills, but the principles of learning to communicate are the same. Learning comes from exposure, opportunities and encouragement. These resources aim to support families and teams in encouraging communication and creating opportunities to learn and practice communicating.

Important Information During At-Home Learning:

Advocate for the Availability of the Student’s Communication Device (Talker):

    • Make sure the talker is with the student and functioning well (i.e. charged and adequate volume)
    • Be willing and able to support the student in participating and communicating

Online Meeting and Learning Considerations

    • Provide a SEPARATE technology for accessing meetings and materials; the talker is for communicating with the technology that will be used to access the meetings and materials
    • Make sure the talker is available and charged, and that the volume is turned up
    • Be prepared to advocate with the other meeting participants for understanding and extra time for processing information and composing messages
    • When possible, prepare the student for the topic prior to the meeting or learning experience—have a discussion, review relevant vocabulary, practice answering questions, gather relevant items/supports
    • Advocate for extra time to compose messages
    • Make use of routines to prepare-and-share rather than having to respond in the moment

Strategies and Resources:

What is Alternative & Augmentative Communication (AAC)

How-to: Supporting Language Development for Autonomy and Independence with a Talker

How-to: Core Word Approach

How-to: Modelling on the Talker

How-to: Shared Reading with a Talker

How-to: Daily Routines as a Communication Learning Opportunity with a Talker

How-to: Actively Teaching New Vocabulary with Talker

PrAACtically April AAC Resources for a Year of Core Words the Learn at Home Edition  (Core Word activities; all symbol sets/language systems)

AAC AACtivitiy Round Up  (talker activities; all symbol sets/language systems)

Touch Chat Chat Corner – Saltillo  (Touch Chat resources and activities)

LAMP AAC Language Lab (LAMP resources and activities)

Speak for Yourself (Speak for Yourself resources and activities)

Project Core Professional Development Modules  (learning opportunities using universal core language)


*under development

For Further Information or Support:

Please contact the AAC Speech-Language Pathologist: Jennie Rankin, M.Sc. R-SLP jennie.rankin @sd71.bc.ca