Information for professionals
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is a term used to describe a huge range of things that can help people to get their message across when they find speaking difficult. AAC can also help everybody to understand the world around them better – we all use signs and symbols everyday although we might not even think about it.
The term AAC can be used to describe things such as pictures, gestures, symbols, photographs as well as ‘high tech’ support including voice output communication aids.
It is estimated that 0.5% of the population could use AAC, which equates to around 26,500 people in Scotland. It can make a big difference for them if we are more aware of the many different ways that there are to communicate and how we can help.
See the links and advice below to find out more.
What can you do to help?
You can explore your understanding and professional development needs by using the IPAACKS resource
Please encourage your organisation to share information about AAC using the various resources available (see below).
Advise clients and their families who may benefit from AAC to visit these pages to find out more.
The AAC Scotland website offers online learning modules which is aimed at people with little or no previous experience of working with people who use AAC. These can be viewed singly or as a series.
- Module 1 – Communication in Everyday Life (Introduction)
- Module 2 – Communication Support Needs
- Module 3 – Augmentative and Alternative Communication
- Module 4 – Helping to Make Communication Work
- Module 5 – Inclusive Communication
Useful links for professionals
- View the final NHS Education for Scotland ‘Now Hear Me’ report on the implementation of the recommendations of A Right to Speak.
- Training and development resource IPAACKS.
- Communication matters for information on getting help with access to AAC.
- Communications Matters for publications and research. Their resources page also includes many useful links.
- Scottish Government’s report, A Right to Speak
- AAC Scotland for posters you can download to help let others know about AAC.
- Communication matters website for resources including details of assessment services, equipment suppliers and much more.
- Go to the AAC area on the Person-centred care zone on Turas Learn for links to information around work carried out by NHS Lothian and NHS GGC on an evidence based approach and supporting documentation around AAC assessment.