Updated: Sep 30, 2020
I've had quite a journey in the AAC field in my decade+ professional career as an SLP. I've learned so much and there is still so much more to learn! Despite how far we have come in the field of AAC over the past 40 years, it remains abundantly clear that AAC continues to confuse and overwhelm many, professionals and parents alike. In an age where the cost of AAC has plummeted with the innovation of the iPad and AAC apps, we still find kids who cannot access the right tools to empower their communication. At a time when it hasn't been easier to load, modify, and run an AAC system, we continue to find that our SLP's are undertrained and overwhelmed at the task of serving kids who need or have AAC. There aren't enough quality AAC providers and although the amount of continuing education for professionals and families has sky rocketed in the last ten years, many are still left with holes in their knowledge and skills to effectively and appropriately assess AAC needs and teach AAC use. Kids still have devices that sit in backpacks or in the back of bedroom closets. Families still find themselves on year-long waiting lists for appropriate AAC assessments and intervention. SLP's still find themselves battling to write the "right" report that will convince that insurance company that this child needs a communication device to access the opportunities provided to others without his unique needs.
So I chose this year to establish a place to bring awareness to these remaining accessibility challenges when it comes to AAC and to invite the entire community to be a part of developing solutions. Our duty in the AAC community is not only to help others understand what AAC is and why it is needed, but to invite the global community to be a part of supporting this unique community with their gifts and resources. This October will include a launch of courses, resources, and more to invite you and those you know who understand how powerful communication truly is to dig a bit deeper.
AACcessible.org is a work in progress, a labor of love that I just can't ignore. Here is what I hope to achieve-with your help-over the next year!
Comprehensive Free and Low Cost Trainings for SLPs on the full AAC Assessment & Support Process to fill the holes in skills and comfort and lead to more quality AAC professionals to serve our kids in need.
AAC Guide Directory to help professionals and potential mentors link up with families looking for services and support.
Free and Low Cost Materials to assist professionals and families on their AAC journey.
AACcessible Lending Library Connection to make trial of systems easier for professionals and families nationwide.
AACcessible Scholarship Campaign to raise money to support families who need funding for AAC tools or support services.
AACcessible Volunteer Program to recruit professionals and other sin the community who are willing to lend their gifts to support the needs of children who use AAC.
Do you want to be a part of bringing AAC Awareness to Action and making AAC more accessible for kids and families? Start by joining the AACcessible Guide Directory. Learn more by clicking the link or reaching connecting with us.