Introduction The ultimate goal of AAC interventions is to enhance communicative competence and maximize participation of individuals who have complex communication needs. AAC technologies can serve as important tools in meeting these goals, but they are not the end goal in and of themselves. There is no inherent value in ... Editorial
Editorial  |   April 01, 2006
Introduction
Author Notes
  • Janice LightGuest Editor
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Editorial
Editorial   |   April 01, 2006
Introduction
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, April 2006, Vol. 15, 2-3. doi:10.1044/aac15.1.2
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, April 2006, Vol. 15, 2-3. doi:10.1044/aac15.1.2
The ultimate goal of AAC interventions is to enhance communicative competence and maximize participation of individuals who have complex communication needs. AAC technologies can serve as important tools in meeting these goals, but they are not the end goal in and of themselves. There is no inherent value in the use of AAC technologies in and of themselves; their value lies only in their power to maximize communication and participation. In order to effectively meet this goal, AAC technologies must be acceptable/ appealing to the user, easy to learn, and effortless to use in daily interaction.
The development of AAC technologies is a challenging process requiring consideration of a wide range of factors, including those intrinsic to the individual (e.g., motor, sensory perceptual, cognitive, and linguistic skills) as well as extrinsic factors (e.g., those related to the partner, environment, interactive context, and task). Although we have seen significant advances in the development of AAC technologies over the past 20 years, many of the current systems offer limited appeal, are difficult to learn, and require considerable effort to use in daily interactions. As a result, individuals with complex communicative needs must spend a significant amount of time and effort learning to use their AAC systems, and family members/professionals must spend significant amounts of time and effort motivating users and teaching system use. To date, we have not yet realized the full potential of AAC technologies as tools to create interactional contexts to facilitate communication and learning for individuals with complex communication needs and their partners.
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