AAC Intervention Research With Children and Youth With Moderate and Severe Disabilities in Brazil As in many other countries, the Blissymbols (Bliss, 1965) paved the way for non-orthographic graphic communication systems in Brazil. This system began to be employed in Associação Educacional Quero-Quero (Quero-Quero Educational Association), a special school and habilitation center for students with cerebral palsy in the city of S. Paulo in ... Article
Article  |   August 01, 2003
AAC Intervention Research With Children and Youth With Moderate and Severe Disabilities in Brazil
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Leila Regina d'Oliveira de Paula Nunes
    Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro-Brazil
  • Débora R. P. Nunes
    Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / International & Global / Articles
Article   |   August 01, 2003
AAC Intervention Research With Children and Youth With Moderate and Severe Disabilities in Brazil
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, August 2003, Vol. 12, 2-6. doi:10.1044/aac12.3.2
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, August 2003, Vol. 12, 2-6. doi:10.1044/aac12.3.2
As in many other countries, the Blissymbols (Bliss, 1965) paved the way for non-orthographic graphic communication systems in Brazil. This system began to be employed in Associação Educacional Quero-Quero (Quero-Quero Educational Association), a special school and habilitation center for students with cerebral palsy in the city of S. Paulo in the late seventies. Although most of those first Bliss users had good receptive spoken language, the system did not seem suitable for non-speaking small children and students with severe/profound cognitive impairments. Subsequently, in the late eighties, both Pictogram Ideogram Communication, PIC (Maharaj, 1980) and Picture Communication Symbols, PCS (Johnson, 1981, 1985) were introduced in special schools for these groups in S.Paulo and Florianópolis. In other major cities, such as Rio de Janeiro, communication aids for students with non vocal communication was established in the early nineties. The inclusive education movement of the 1990s brought nonvocal students with good comprehension of spoken language to regular classrooms. Presently, teaching ordinary orthographic writing as a mean of communication has been the main target with this population. On the other hand, in special education schools, individuals with severe cognitive disabilities in addition to lack of functional speech have been trained to use systems that use picture communication symbols, such as PIC signs, photographs, pictures, and line drawings. Blissymbols and manual signs have not been used at all. In fact, in educational settings, manual signs as well as sign language have almost exclusively been taught to the deaf. Since most of those who receive alternative communication training have severe motor impairments due to cerebral palsy, manual signs have never been considered a suitable alternative. The focus on producing AAC systems for individuals with cerebral palsy is not unique to Brazil. In many other countries (Zangari, Lloyd, & Vicker, 1994), A AC was initially developed for this population, particularly for those with no receptive language impairments.
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