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Sex, Drugs, Death, God and AAC: Tackling more taboos with AAC

Education Stream
  • Helen Dunman (Chailey Heritage Foundation)

My aim is to describe how I facilitated AAC users with SLD to communicate and ask questions about two particularly sensitive subjects: death and medication/therapies. Imagine being desperate to ask questions about what happens when we die and not having the language to do this. Equally, imagine wanting to ask what the side effects of your new medication might be but simply not having the language to do this. We needed to make it as easy as possible for our students to communicate on these subjects and to be empowered.


I devised additional pages for the Chailey Communication System (CCS) on 'Death' and 'Medication and Therapies', with student input.


Students can now communicate about these difficult subjects: they can express a belief, challenge and ask questions.


It's our job as professionals working in this field to be constantly vigilant, to ensure that AAC users with SLD have what they need to communicate fully. They are not always able to advocate for themselves, so it's our job to make sure that they are empowered to do this.

Level of Session 
Age Group 
All Ages
Special school