Family Reactions to Assistive Technology Across Cultures Augmentative and alternative communication, as a practice, is most often associated with technology because of the prevalence of assistive devices in the field. For example, the definition of a communication aid is “a physical object or device used to transmit or receive messages (e.g., a communication book, board, chart, mechanical ... Article
Article  |   March 01, 1999
Family Reactions to Assistive Technology Across Cultures
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Phil Parette
    Southeast Missouri State University
Article Information
Articles
Article   |   March 01, 1999
Family Reactions to Assistive Technology Across Cultures
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, March 1999, Vol. 5, 10-11. doi:10.1044/cds5.1.10
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, March 1999, Vol. 5, 10-11. doi:10.1044/cds5.1.10
Augmentative and alternative communication, as a practice, is most often associated with technology because of the prevalence of assistive devices in the field. For example, the definition of a communication aid is “a physical object or device used to transmit or receive messages (e.g., a communication book, board, chart, mechanical or electronic device, or computer)” (ASHA, 1991, p. 10). Although AAC encompasses broader issues than the introduction and use of technology, the simple presence of assistive technology in the AAC field has offered consumers increasingly new alternatives for communication never before possible. In 1995, a special project was funded by the U.S. Department of Education to examine the impact of assistive technology on families across cultures. “Culture, Families, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Impact: A Multimedia Instructional Program for Related Services Personnel and Family Members” by H. P. Parette and A. VanBiervliet (Grant Award No. H029K50072) focused on the impact of assistive technology on AAC. Specifically, families of children using AAC were interviewed during a series of focus groups conducted across the United States. Families from African, Asian, Euro, Hispanic, and Native American cultures were interviewed extensively regarding their perceptions of and reactions to their children’s AAC devices.
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