Who is ASHA and What Should an SLP Know About AAC?
ASHA is the American Speech-Languarge-Hearing Association. ASHA has a special intersest division for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and is a leader in defining best practices.
ASHA's AAC Division has a position statement on AAC.
"It is the position of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) that communication is the essence of human life and that all people have the right to communicate to the fullest extent possible. No individuals should be denied this right, irrespective
of the type and/or severity of communication, linguistic, social, cognitive, motor, sensory, perceptual, and/or other disability(ies) they may present."
SLP's providing AAC services shall:
- "Recognize and hold paramount the needs and interests of individuals who may benefit from AAC and assist them to communicate in ways they desire.
- Implement a multimodal approach to enhance effective communication that is culturally and linguistically appropriate.
- Acquire and maintain the knowledge and skills (ASHA, 2002) that are necessary to provide quality professional services.
- Integrate perspectives, knowledge and skills of team members, especially those individuals who have AAC needs, their families, and significant others in developing functional and meaningful goals and objectives.
- Assess, intervene, and evaluate progress and outcomes associated with AAC interventions using principles of evidence-based practice.
- Facilitate individuals’ uses of AAC to promote and maintain their quality of life.
- Advocate with and for individuals who can or already do benefit from AAC, their families, and significant others to address communication needs and ensuring rights to full communication access."*
The knowledge and skills needed by an SLP providing AAC services is described in the attached paper from ASHA.
* American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2005). Roles and responsibilities of speech-language pathologists with respect to alternative communication: Position statement. ASHA Supplement 25, in press.
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