From the Hands of Babes: Celebrating AAC Awareness Month

Little guy using his device to talk to mom.

October is Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Awareness Month! We’re excited to celebrate because everyday, we are privileged to see the incredible difference AAC makes in the lives of the people using it and the people who love them.

We also have the tremendous opportunity to make changes within the design of the Speak for Yourself app. Not many speech-language pathologists get the chance to actually be the change they wish to see in AAC. It’s an honor and responsibility that we don’t take lightly and we certainly don’t take it for granted.

So, as always, we are celebrating AAC Awareness Month and asking you to join us in our “From the Hands of Babes” Campaign!!!

Being “Aware”…What is AAC?

If you are reading this and you are not yet “AAC aware,” let’s change that! AAC is used when someone is not able to communicate effectively and completely using verbal speech. Some individuals who use AAC are not able to speak at all. Others have some verbal speech, but are not able to be understood or verbally express their thoughts with the complexity that they deserve. AAC can also be used to fill in the gaps when someone’s communication is temporarily impaired.

For many children and adults around the world, AAC provides a voice. It gives language to a population that is often underestimated. AAC allows them a way to add their thoughts, opinions, ideas, fears, intelligence, and humor to the world. Sometimes it’s temporary and children start talking. Other times, AAC is a lifelong means of communication. Regardless, when someone is given access and learns to use AAC, it is life-changing.

How are we celebrating?

First, we want AAC in the hands of anyone who would benefit from it! So, we are having our annual AAC Awareness Month sale! The Speak for Yourself AAC app will be 50% off ($149.99 USD) worldwide on October 10th, 11th, and 12th, 2017. You can read about what makes Speak for Yourself special compared to other options.

Here’s the fun part!

AAC users, parents, professionals, grandparents, siblings…Let’s give the people using AAC a chance to spread AAC Awareness by sharing their words!

We want to hear it “from the hands of babes.” If you’re an adult using AAC, you can interpret that as the slang (but not derogatory) “babe.”

If the AAC users you want to share are using eyegaze or head switches, and not technically their hands, we still want to hear about them!

We want to hear about ALL of the funny, heartwarming, emabarrassing, and even typical mundane things our AAC learners say.

Here’s how you can get involved…regardless of the AAC language system you are using:

  1. Tell a story, share a favorite video, or snap a picture about AAC.
  2. Make it public so that we are able to share it. (If you would prefer to be anonymous, please email it to us at [email protected] and let us know that it’s okay to share without identifying information).
  3. Post it to social media with #FromtheHandsofBabes hashtag

Here’s what we are going to do:

  • We’ll tell our stories too.
  • Each Sunday in October, beginning Sunday October 8th, 2017, we are going to randomly choose a post by using the #FromtheHandsofBabes hashtag and a random number generator. The winner will receive a beach towel with the main screen of Speak for Yourself printed on it. It can be used as a core language board for modeling or communicating near water. It can also be hung in a classroom or therapy room and used for aided language input. 
  • We’ll share some of your posts on our Facebook page, and also combine some of them together in a wrap up blog post each week.

So, let’s raise AAC awareness this month by sharing the words #FromtheHandsofBabes. Let’s share all of the funny, adorable, insightful, complex, and typical things that our AAC learners say…because they can. Because of AAC.

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