Aided AAC methods utilize outside tools and aids for communication in addition to the user’s body. There are several types of aided AAC systems:
No tech: Tools that do not require technology or a power source. Examples of no tech AAC include writing or drawing with a pen and paper, pointing to or exchanging pictures and symbols, using real objects, parts of objects or miniature objects (e.g. handing a toothbrush to someone to let them know you want to brush your teeth).
Low tech: AAC aids that require a power source but are simple and easy to program (often battery operated systems). Examples of low tech equipment include one button switches that can produce a single message or manipulate a toy, audio books, and digital picture frames.
Mid tech: Tools that require a power source (often battery operated) and are somewhat complex, therefore some training is needed to program and use the equipment. Examples of mid tech AAC include voice output devices that have multiple symbols or pictures per page and sequential message boards.
High tech: Devices that utilize computer technology and are very complex, requiring extensive training to program and use. Examples of high tech devices include computers, tablets, and Speech Generating Devices (SGDs).
*The type of AAC system used by an individual can include one specific method that is used all of the time or can incorporate a multimodal system in which many types of AAC (both aided and unaided) may be used depending on the person’s needs or situation.