Augmentative and Alternative Communication

At Speak and Swallow, we go beyond: empowering our clients to always have a voice even when they can’t always use their own, through Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) aids and devices.

What is AAC?

AAC describes the methods, tools and strategies individuals may use to communicate. This typically involves communicating in any means other than, or in conjunction with speech.


No-Tech involves using your own body to communicate.

This may include natural gestures, signing, body language, facial expressions etc.


Low-Tech involves using systems other than your body but may not be electronic. This may include paper-based communication boards such as alphabet boards or aided language stimulation boards, pen and paper and more extensive communication systems such as PODD books.

Mid-Tech and High-Tech

Mid-Tech and High-Tech are speech generating devices using battery powered (e.g. switches) or electronic devices such as iPads and Tablets. Some more examples of these may include single button/switches (e.g. BIGmack or Jelly Bean switch), overlay displays of pictures and/or written words (e.g. GoTalk) or even Tablets or Computers.

Who might benefit from AAC

When using AAC our goal is to help our clients communicate their thoughts and ideas, opinions, wants and needs and interests with anyone they choose. AAC may be required for many populations, including:

  • those who are non-verbal,
  • those who are losing the ability to speak due to a progressive condition,
  • those that are having difficulties getting their message across, or
  • those that are learning to communicate again (following stroke or other medical conditions).

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How we can help

At Speak and Swallow, we support our clients in accessing a wide range of AAC based solutions to determine what is most suitable for them. We do this by:

  • Conducting assessments with you, your supports, and your key environments to determine what features you may require.
  • Liaising with technology and communication device providers to ensure we are up to date on all current AAC Systems
  • Trialling systems (from no tech to high tech) with you and your supports to determine best fit for your communication needs.
  • Troubleshooting these systems to ensure they are working as they should
  • Conduct communication partner training with your team to support them in understanding your communication system.

Interested to find out what options might work for you or your loved one? Talk to your Speech Pathologist to find out more.

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