Several campaigns and actions are being organized worldwide to raise awareness of AAC. We would love to support #AACaware, so throughout October, we will gladly share tips and tricks on how to implement AAC in daily-life situations based on the SCORE AAC Cruise created by Speech and Language Therapists Judy King and Gillian Rumble. Cruise away at www.jabbla.co.uk/vocab/score/
Tip #1: Aim for a core ‘survival’ vocabulary. Select the vocabulary of high frequency and relevance to most learners. Spend time on the early words as they will serve the user for a lifetime.
Tip #2: Develop AAC fluency through motor planning. Your AAC learner can develop automaticity through strong motor planning. If their knowledge of location and sequence of target words is established, they can find a word without the need for conscious thought.
Tip #3: Practice makes permanent. Gillian Rumble and Judy King have suggested a step-by-step method to rehearse vocabulary from a single word level to phrase level. The key is to follow the pace of the individual learner. It’s important that the learner has established a good knowledge of the vocabulary before moving on.
Tip #4: Make AAC omnipresent. Combining paper- and digital-based AAC improves modelling and inclusion. Take for example the SCORE wallpaper. You can use it as a play mat or a table cloth to have your context-specific vocabulary when you need it. Furthermore, you can attach the wallpaper to a tree or a wall in the playground! That way, teachers and parents have more opportunities to model and for peers to play along!
Tip #5: Keep it user-centric. A variety of different activities and games to maintain the user’s interest and motivation can be very helpful. Do they like a certain animation or a specific game? Use it to keep things flowing!