“We Have Come a Long Way…” AAC and Multiculturalism: From Cultural Awareness to Cultural Responsibility I would like to start by thanking Jane Murphy, past Editor, for asking me to guest edit this issue of the newsletter, for it has given me the opportunity to work with very talented colleagues on a topic about which we all feel passionate. The title of this article ... Article
Article  |   May 01, 2000
“We Have Come a Long Way…” AAC and Multiculturalism: From Cultural Awareness to Cultural Responsibility
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  • Gloria SotoGuest Editor
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Article   |   May 01, 2000
“We Have Come a Long Way…” AAC and Multiculturalism: From Cultural Awareness to Cultural Responsibility
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, May 2000, Vol. 9, 1-3. doi:10.1044/aac9.2.1
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, May 2000, Vol. 9, 1-3. doi:10.1044/aac9.2.1
I would like to start by thanking Jane Murphy, past Editor, for asking me to guest edit this issue of the newsletter, for it has given me the opportunity to work with very talented colleagues on a topic about which we all feel passionate.
The title of this article reflects my feelings about the topic of AAC and multiculturalism. I strongly believe that in the last few years we, in the AAC community, have come a long way regarding cultural awareness in the field of AAC. Our awareness and maturity is clearly evidenced by an ever growing body of literature and constant presence of cultural issues in local, national, and international AAC conferences. Yet, we shall not let our enthusiasm cloud an ever present reality. Even today, many individuals with disabilities and their families do not have access to information on AAC devices and services. This is particularly true of people with disabilities who are also members of traditionally underserved U.S. minority population groups. These groups often include non-English speaking individuals and members of communities of color. They also typically have less access to, and receive fewer services from, the private and public sectors. Obstacles such as discrimination, poverty, and inadequacy of specially trained professionals make for fewer resources directed toward these groups. Differences in language, literacy, and cultural beliefs may also present significant barriers to the dissemination of information on augmentative communication.
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