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Speech-Language Services

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

The Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic at ISU is highly qualified to provide evaluation and services to individuals across the lifespan with augmentative and alternative communication need.  Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is a communication method that enhances a person’s verbal output abilities. AAC provides a boost to spoken and written language if or when traditional communication presents as a challenge. Children and adults who utilize AAC do so to help them communicate more effectively to the world.  The Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic at ISU uses the latest evidence-based practice techniques and can also provide clients with access to the latest technology including high-tech devices with multiple options for direct selection or switch scanning.  The library of devices include options from multiple device manufacturers and also include head pointing and eye-gaze selection.


Who can benefit from AAC?

Possible AAC users may include but are not limited to: persons with severe communication disorders, persons with cerebral palsy, children and adults with developmental disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, cancer and stroke survivors, or individuals with degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).


What are the various forms of AAC?

AAC can take many different forms including both unaided and aided communication methods. Unaided communication systems include sign language, facial expression, gestures, and any other alternative mode of communication that involves only a person’s body. Conversely, aided communication systems can be as simple as a pen and paper, or as complex as a speech-generating device that one looks at, points to, or touches.


Assessment and treatment of AAC

Assessment and treatment services offered to individuals who use AAC are highly tailored to fit personal goals. Device selection, proper navigation of the device, vocabulary building, and functional communication outcomes are a few examples of the services that speech-language pathologists are qualified to provide. Comprehensive assessment and treatment services are offered at the Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic to assist AAC users of every age and ability level to reach the ultimate goal, communication. Speech-language pathologists with skilled knowledge and experience in the area of AAC work with graduate student clinicians to provide evidence-based interventions. Both individual and group sessions are offered to provide children and adults using AAC with the most advantageous treatment possible.

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