Challenges and opportunities in augmentative and alternative communication: Research and technology development to enhance communication and participation for individuals with complex communication needs

Janice Light, David McNaughton, David Beukelman, Susan Koch Fager, Melanie Fried-Oken, Thomas Jakobs, Erik Jakobs

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

The field of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) has witnessed significant changes since its inception. AAC services are now considered for a much greater number of individuals with complex communication needs and there are many more AAC options available as communication supports, including a proliferation of technologies. The scope and options for communication within society have increased substantially to include a wide array of digital and social media. Individuals with complex communication needs have increased expectations for participation and engagement across a full range of environments—education, employment, family, healthcare, and community living. Despite these advances, there remain critical challenges that must be addressed. This paper discusses key advances in the AAC field, delineates challenges, and discusses future directions to address these challenges, specifically as they relate to research and development to enhance AAC interventions and technologies for individuals with complex communication needs and their families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalAAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019

Keywords

  • AAC
  • assistive technology
  • disability
  • research and development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing

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