Georgia Institute of Technology. Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access
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Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices are typically used by people who do not speak, are difficult to understand, or have language retrieval issues. AAC devices are used by people of all ages with a variety of disabilities. A person can send a message through printed words, speech or voice output, pictures, or any combination of these. Devices range from having basic components and performing fundamental language functions to having the ability to perform computer-like functions and control household appliances. AAC devices are designed to be used as supplementary modes of communication for existing communication strategies and can be configured or customized to address most communication needs. Many augmented communicators use a combination of electronic and non-electronic AAC systems. Non-electronic AAC systems can include alphabet boards, picture books, facial expressions, gestures, sign language, and residual speech. This Quick Reference Guide will focus on information relating to electronic communication devices.