Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Changing Demographic Patterns Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is “an area of clinical practice that attempts to compensate for the impairment and disability patterns of individuals with severe expressive communication disorders” (ASHA, 1989, p. 107). The field of AAC has predominantly evolved from practitioners whose life experiences are European American. Therefore, most AAC ... Article
Article  |   March 01, 1999
Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Changing Demographic Patterns
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mary Blake Huer
    California State University-Fullerton
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Articles
Article   |   March 01, 1999
Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Changing Demographic Patterns
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, March 1999, Vol. 5, 2-3. doi:10.1044/cds5.1.2
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, March 1999, Vol. 5, 2-3. doi:10.1044/cds5.1.2
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is “an area of clinical practice that attempts to compensate for the impairment and disability patterns of individuals with severe expressive communication disorders” (ASHA, 1989, p. 107). The field of AAC has predominantly evolved from practitioners whose life experiences are European American. Therefore, most AAC practices continue to reflect a single point of view. While the majority of services are currently offered to persons who are of European American ethnicity (See Table 1), projected estimates indicate that an increasing number of families within other ethnic groups are eligible for services (Soto, Huer, & Taylor, 1997). A close inspection of the numbers in Table 1 reveals an even greater number of persons will require services in the future. Against these future projections, the literature includes little direction preparing speech-language pathologists for these future challenges. Unfortunately, many have not received formal training in AAC; and even fewer have had any training to adequately prepare them to serve culturally and linguistically diverse populations of consumers with severe impairments. Therefore, the purpose of this series of short articles is to present information pertaining to the practice of AAC across cultures.
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