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Teaching and learning

Use of AAC

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) refers to other methods of communication people may use when they have difficulty speaking. These methods may supplement what speech they do use or may become the primary form of communication in the absence of speech.

While there are unaided methods which do not require any additional items or equipment such as facial expressions, gestures and signing, aided methods include picture symbol communication charts and books, including PODD, key word signing, and voice output devices.

At Gympie Special School it is a school wide expectation that all staff members become conversant with the use of PODD and AAC devices/methods as required by individual students. The Communication Coach is available to assist staff to incorporate AAC into planning and everyday communications with students. All staff are provided with a PODD for use.

The primary aim of AAC is providing a means of functional, effective communication. Therefore, AAC can:

1. Provide the opportunity for the child to reach their highest level of language ability - both understanding others and getting their message across.

2. Assist in developing cognitive, social and academic abilities through the increased use of effective communication.

3. Reduce the risk of behaviour problems which result from frustrations due to not being understood by others.

4. Increase quality of life through a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction that their messages are being understood by others.

5. Increase participation in daily activities (at school, work, play) and in society​