Augmentative/Alternative Communication Program
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is a specialty area of clinical practice in speech language pathology that assists individuals with severe expressive communication disorders (ASHA). In the WWRC Augmentative and Alternative Communication Program, a unique team works together to assess the communication needs of clients with severe speech impairments or no functional speech or writing. The interdisciplinary team is headed by a speech-language pathologist and may include an occupational therapist, physical therapist, rehabilitation engineer, vocational evaluator, and/or computer systems engineer.
Both low and high assistive technology solutions are applied to provide clients with the most appropriate communication system to meet communication needs. Specialized training in using the systems in daily functional settings is incorporated into all clients’ programs.
Who typically needs the service?
- People with speech impairments that alter the effectiveness of their communication.
- People who are not able to communicate all daily needs (such as presence of pain, desire for food, care needs, and social interaction) through their present communication modes.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about AAC evaluations:
How are the evaluation and the communication device funded?
Private Insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, DRS, school systems, private pay
How long does the evaluation take?
Typically three to four hours
Will I leave the evaluation with a communication device?
Typically a trial rental or loan period of two to four weeks is recommended. An appropriate device usually has to be ordered for a trial period, so the client may need to return for delivery of the trial device.
What if I am traveling a long distance?
There are local lodging options for a special rate, and you may qualify to stay at WWRC. We will try to accommodate your needs for a rest during the evaluation, if needed.
How long does the entire process take?
After the paperwork is submitted, the average time for receipt of a purchased communication device is six to 12 weeks.
What about additional training in how to use the device once it is purchased?
WWRC provides additional AAC training, and we also try to identify support in the local community.
What if my condition changes?
We try to match a device to an individual which has the capability of changing as the individual’s physical and communication needs may change.
Empowerment through Communication Program
The Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Team offers the Empowerment Through Communication (ETC) Program once or twice yearly, depending upon the demand. Clients who already own their communication devices and want to become more proficient with using them to meet their daily communication needs are eligible to attend this two-week intensive program.
|Program Goals||Requirements – Participants Must:||Communication and Empowerment Activities|
|AAC Program (AACInfo@wwrc.virginia.gov)|
|Phone||800-345-9972, Ext. 7086 or 540-332-7086|