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Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) represents a range of strategies and tools from simple letter or picture boards to sophisticated computer technologies - all characterise a way that someone communicates besides talking. 

A pupil who has speech or language needs may use different types of AAC to help them to communicate as effectively as possible, in as many situations as possible.

Augmentative means to add to someone’s speech.

Alternative means it is used instead of speech.

There are many different types of AAC. No-tech and low-tech options include things like:

  • gestures and facial expressions 
  • writing or drawing
  • spelling words by pointing to letters
  • pointing to photos, symbols, pictures, or written words

High-tech options include things like

  • using an app on an iPad, tablet or phone device
  • using a computer with a “voice," sometimes called a speech-generating device.

A number of pupils at Woodlands Meed use a range of AAC devices as part of their ‘Total Communication’ approach.