What is Augmentative and Alternative Communication?

autonoMEgo 3Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is a term used to describe communication methods designed to either supplement or replace writing or speech. AAC may be needed either on a temporary or permanent basis. AAC is commonly used to refer to individuals with language and speech impairments caused by conditions including spinal cord injuries, quadriplegia and debilitating diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). AAC may be needed permanently or used on a temporary basis following surgeries or traumatic events which render a person unable to use speech or written communication for a certain period of time.

Accessibility Services, Inc. (ASI) designed the autonoME to be an environmental control unit (ECU) and speech generating device with full AAC capabilities. This means that not only can it be used to control lights, doors, television remotes, beds, fans blinds, etc., but it can also be used for communication. In a nutshell, individuals needing AAC can input words or phrases into the autonoME and it will speak for them.

What makes the autonoME ideal for AAC is that it can be customized to accommodate the user’s preferred input methods. Sip and puff, eye gaze, touchscreen, head tracking, foot switching and grasp switches are among the different ways the user can control AAC. In fact, the autonoME features not one but two switch input ports, which allows for optimal customization.

The autonoME is powered by Grid 3 software which allows for the download of various grid sets, many of which help users learn and become proficient with AAC. If you are looking for a solution combining both AAC and environmental control, the autonoME may be just what you need. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation to learn more about how the autonoME can provide reliable AAC for you or a loved one.