Selection Methods

Selection method refers to how the person using AAC will access their system(s) in order to communicate. There are two general types of selection methods.

Direct selectionThe person using AAC accesses a target by directly pointing to a symbol, picture, or object with a body part (e.g. finger, hand, eye gaze) or adapted tool (e.g. laser pointer, computer mouse). Direct selection is typically the faster access method and is not as cognitively difficult or complex.

hand final

Indirect selection: The person using AAC selects a target from a set of choices as an indicator scans each choice in the set. Indirect selection may be used when physical impairments are present that hinder the ability to use direct selection. There are several types of indirect selection or scanning methods that may be used.

anne switch

Types of scanning include:

 – visual scanning: This type of scanning involves the use of a visual display on a high tech device that highlights each option on a screen and the person using AAC selects the target using eyegaze technology or a switch.

 – auditory scanning: This type of  scanning uses voice output on a high tech device to scan through choices by providing auditory signals. When the device names the desired choice, the person using AAC will select that choice using a switch.

– partner assisted scanning: This type of scanning involves the use of a partner for the person using AAC. Partner assisted scanning is typically used with no tech or low tech communication systems and can include either auditory scanning, visual scanning, or both. The role of the partner is to “provide scanning by showing/pointing and/or speaking the names of items” (Burkhart & Porter, 2006, p. 1).

With visual partner assisted scanning “the child relies on visual recognition of the symbols. The partner scans by showing or pointing to items with a finger or light without verbally labeling the symbols” (Burkhart & Porter, 2006, p. 1).

When using auditory partner assisted scanning “the partner reads out loud the labels for each symbol or a group of symbols. The child relies on their understanding of the spoken labels” (Burkhart & Porter, 2006, p. 1).

A dual method may also be used that includes visual and auditory methods in which “the partner both shows/points to and reads out loud the labels for each symbol. The child may rely on their understanding of the spoken labels or visually recognize the symbols” (Burkhart & Porter, 2006, p. 1).

 

 

 

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