BIG EXCITEMENT OPENING DAY AT AGOSCI CONFERENCE- PERTH, AUSTRALIA: August 28-31, 2019
Bluebee Pals Exhibit in Perth Australia!..AAC Communication: Augmented, Alternative Communication.
What is AGOSCI? Established in 1981, AGOSCI is an inclusive group interested in enhancing the participation of all people with complex communication needs. AGOSCI also aims to build the capacity of society to achieve their vision.
Their vision is that people with complex communication needs participate fully in all aspects of life.AGOSCI’s membership includes individuals with complex communication needs, family and community members, teachers, speech pathologists, and other professionals.
An estimated 3.5 million Americans experience speech disability to the extent that they have significant difficulty being understood by others. Many of these people have no speech at all and also have other physical disabilities that preclude expressive communication using gestures, writing, or typing.
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is a field of endeavor addressing the communication and other related needs of individuals who experience significant and complex communication disorders. The goal of AAC is to achieve the most effective communication possible for the individual in order to maximize their potential and lead the highest quality of life possible. Aspects of this field include clinical service delivery, education, research and advocacy. Individuals who benefit from AAC intervention frequently require assistive technology such as Speech Generating Devices (SGDs), the term used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as a funding category of Durable Medical Equipment.
At the start, the field of AAC often focused on teaching AAC users to request highly desired items like food or toys and labeling nouns and verbs.
The vocabulary taught and used was often very specific such as “I want cracker”, “bathroom”, “ball”. Over time a vast amount of research has guided therapists, users, and caregivers towards more effective AAC use.
What we have learned is that 80% of the words we use in English to communicate across various settings are not specific nouns and verbs, but instead what we call “core words”. Core words are frequently occurring abstract words that can be used to communicate many messages across many topics. They are words like “it”, “go”, “you”, “see”. Many low-tech and high-tech AAC systems are providing core word vocabulary to the user on their front or home page to allow fast and effect communication across all settings. Just one look at a well-known AAC website http://praacticalaac.org/ will help you to see how core word use is really at the forefront of the AAC world!
The more AAC users hear and see core vocabulary being used by their communication partners on their devices and the more they are aided to use it themselves, the more they will be able to communicate with the world! Bluebee Pals are a great tool for use with AAC apps and core words. Simply connect your Bluebee Pal via Bluetooth connection to your iPad with a communication app. As the AAC user activates buttons on their communication app, Bluebee will speak. What a fun way to hear your “voice” being used!
Bluebee Pals are a diverse assistive technology tool and considered by many speech therapists as a effective tool in engaging children and adults in communication.