What Is AAC?

Here at The Sequal Trust, our role as a communication aid charity is the funding and supply of communication aids for people with disabilities, speech disorders or learning difficulties. It may not be obvious as of yet if you or someone you know requires a communication aid to get by in life, as some people are born with speech limiting conditions and others can develop speech issues over time.

Our communication aid charity specialises in funding a particular type of device known as AAC – Augmented and Alternative Communication. Another similar phrase used a lot by companies who create these devices is AT or Assistive Technology. These are both broad terms for devices that help people live more independent lives but there are some differences of what falls beneath each category.

AT covers a really broad range of things. It could be a device that offers a new way of accessing a computer such as a switch, or it could be an environmental control system that allows the user to turn off lights, turn on the television or even open a window.

AAC is a type of AT that covers electronic speech aids, which uses augmented voices to vocalise word selections, phrases or even sentences for those using the devices. These devices replace someone’s speech when they are non-verbal or can make communicating for those with incoherent speech, a bit easier. There are lots of different types of AAC including Grid pads, Eye Gaze Technology, Lightwriters and even software for iPads and computers, that act as communication aids for people with disabilities.

At The Sequal Trust we supply primarily devices that fall under AAC but we are also able to supply AT if it is necessary. Say if our member requires an eye gaze machine, we can fund this, but we may also supply a wheelchair mount to make it easier for them to use the communication aid.