Image: Bloorview Exterior RenderingImage: Boy and young woman having fun


AAC awareness event allows individuals to experience the non-verbal world

October is Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) awareness month.  To celebrate, the communication and writing aids service at Bloorview hosted a fun-filled event on October 16 which provided the opportunity to experience the world of non-verbal communication.

The event provided hands-on experience with AAC, using a variety of communication methods other than speech and was open to everyone interested in learning more about AAC and also individuals who work with those using AAC

Participants were given passports to record the completion of various tasks at stations with the goal of providing the opportunity to experience what it is like to be non-verbal in real-life settings.

Among the innovative and interesting stations was a bank where participants were asked to withdraw $15 using an eye gaze board to communicate. Another station was a clothing store where participants selected a piece of paper from a bin, which represented the item of clothing they would need to purchase. Then, using partner-assisted scanning, participants were able to communicate their purchase.

In addition to the various stations, there was a museum which depicted the history of AAC using a timeline of events. This illustrated the significant advances made in technology and also had actual devices displayed for everyone to try out. Finally, the library provided the opportunity to experience what it’s like to listen to digitized and synthesized speech. Individuals were able to use a choice board to decide on a story and sit back and relax.

This truly educational event not only explained the world of AAC through the use of a presentation and posters, but provided the opportunity to experience real-life situations using non-verbal communication.

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