AAC Team

An AAC team is the group of people involved in the identification, referral, assessment, treatment, and management process. Identifying “all of the potential members of the AAC team is dependent on the needs of the individual, the type of information that is needed, the setting of the team, and the supports that are needed” (DeCoste & Glennen, 1997, p. 28).

People who may be part of an AAC team are:

The person with complex communication needs: This is the person who will potentially be using an AAC system. He/she should have as much input as possible in the decision process and can tell the rest of the team important information such as needs and interests.

Family, friends, & frequent communication partners: These are the support systems for the person with communication difficulties. They can help operate the device by working with the person with complex communication needs to aid in the construction of messages, make sure the equipment is functioning properly, and assist with communication when there is a misinterpretation. However, it is very important to remember to only support the AAC user instead of communicating for them.

Professionals outside the field of Speech-Language Pathology: These people can include doctors, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, teachers, psychologists, social workers etc. They may help with identifying a communication problem by referring an individual to a Speech-Language Pathologist. In addition they could play a role in addressing medical, physical, educational, psychological, and social needs when the person potentially using AAC is their student, client, or patient under their care (Beukelman, Hanson, Hiatt, Fager, & Bilyeu, 2005, p. 187).

Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs): Professionals who specialize in communication however may not specialize specifically in AAC. They may “intermittently serve on AAC teams,” (Beukelman, Hanson, Hiatt, Fager, & Bilyeu, 2005, p. 187) and can help to assess and work with AAC users but might need to make a referral to an SLP who specializes in the area.

AAC specialists: These are SLPs who specialize in AAC. They often work specifically with AAC users and have lots of experience in the assessment and treatment process. They “lead teams or consult closely with them on a regular basis” (Beukelman, Hanson, Hiatt, Fager, & Bilyeu, 2005, p. 187). AAC specialists are able to provide assistance to other professionals and family members on the programming and care of devices and can implement AAC interventions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s