From the Guest Editor The role of the speech-language pathologist, as laid out in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Communication Bill of Rights (ASHA, 1992), is to ensure that all people have the basic right to be able to effectively communicate their needs regardless of their disability. The National Joint Committee for the Communication ... Editorial
Editorial  |   June 01, 2013
From the Guest Editor
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Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Editorial
Editorial   |   June 01, 2013
From the Guest Editor
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, June 2013, Vol. 22, 65-68. doi:10.1044/aac22.2.65
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, June 2013, Vol. 22, 65-68. doi:10.1044/aac22.2.65
The role of the speech-language pathologist, as laid out in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Communication Bill of Rights (ASHA, 1992), is to ensure that all people have the basic right to be able to effectively communicate their needs regardless of their disability. The National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities developed this “Bill of Rights” more than 20 years ago. Among other things, it sent a clear message both to the profession and to society that, regardless of the type of disability, each individual has the right to some form of communication system to allow them to participate more fully in educational, vocational, and social contexts. Although the origins of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) can be found in the pediatric setting, specifically non-oral children with developmental disabilities, today clinicians have successfully applied a wide range of AAC strategies so that the inclusion criteria for AAC candidacy have been broadened to effectively not rule out any conscious individual. Clearly, the challenges an individual who is acquiring language with the aid of AAC faces are different from those individuals who were fully functional language users prior to the onset of a disease or trauma face. That being said, it is still a generally held belief that AAC is for individuals with a chronic communication disability, regardless of etiology (e.g., Cerebral Palsy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis).
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