Technology as a Language Tool: Augmentative and Alternative Communication in the Classroom
As evidenced across the articles in this issue of Perspectives, the modern classroom includes a range of technologies that afford educators, students, and families more ways to engage and communicate than many of us ever could have imagined. One group for which the technological revolution has had a particularly obvious effect in the school environment has been with students who are not able to meet all of their communication needs using natural speech. Students requiring the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) have enjoyed an exponential increase in options for communicating in all relevant environments, including the classroom. School-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) possess a range of skills that allows them to help facilitate functional use of AAC technologies in the classroom environment. Given that AAC technologies are language tools, SLPs can employ their expertise in language to implement relevant goals, objectives, and interventions for children with AAC needs. To illustrate this point, an AAC case study is presented along with sample goals and interventions that may be used in the school setting.