I first learned AAC assessments my second year of graduate school. I was a part of the AAC evaluation team, which gave me many insights into how AAC assessments or evaluations are conducted.
Over time, my knowledge and insights into AAC assessment have grown and evolved. I am sharing my most recent recommendations and insights on AAC assessment with you, so that you can also confidently select an AAC system that has a high chance of being a successful communication method for your clients with complex communication needs.
A good way to start any AAC assessment is to get a history or background of your client. You will want to know what communication systems were used in the past and why the client or team thinks the system is not sufficient.
Note any high-tech, mid-tech, or low-tech devices, and no-tech systems used (e.g., writing, sign language, etc.).
Ask the family/caregivers about the client’s medical history, any diagnoses...
So, your student, client, or child can request using augmentative alternative communication (AAC). Now What?!
Let me give you some examples of requesting:
"I want a drink."
There is SO much more than requesting that all humans should have access to. But, even if we know we want to add more communicative intent to our student/client/child's inventory, how do we facilitate that?
It really is. We need to model (when we demonstrate and help a person use their AAC system) more types of sentences and communicative functions.
Here are the eight communicative functions listed in the Communication Intention Inventory (CII). They were considered to be representative of early intentional communication. These categories can be used to determine intervention goals (Austin, 2013):
1. Comment on action
2. Comment on object
3. Request for action
4. Request for object
5. Request for information
6. Answering a request for...