Social media and electronic interactions have become a normal and expected part of our daily lives. However, current AAC technology often does not allow full participation in this environment. This presentation describes a project to integrate face-to-face AAC technology into a multifaceted social media environment.
Development of the integrated communication system consisted of interactive engagement between software developers and the AAC community. As features were added to give access to text messaging, instant messaging, Facebook, email, etc., they were evaluated by speech professionals and by individuals who use AAC devices on a daily basis.
Integrating access to social media directly into the AAC environment can have a significant impact on the number of available communication opportunities. This environment allows an individual to use the vocabulary and access strategies that have been optimized for face-to-face communication to navigate and communicate within social media environments. It also provides the opportunity to communicate in situations where decreased communication rate is not a barrier to full participation.
This project convinced us that AAC systems can provide access to a much broader range of communication opportunities than is normally provided. The features developed during this project will soon be available in commercial AAC devices.