Welcome to AAC at PSU

The Penn State AAC community of faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students are dedicated to enhancing communication and improving the overall quality of life for individuals who have complex communication needs and their families. We are seeking to improve outcomes for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, developmental apraxia, traumatic brain injuries, aphasia, ALS /Lou Gehrig’s disease and many other disabilities through the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)  such as signs, light tech symbols, high tech speech generating devices, etc.

We focus on three main areas in our work:

  • Research to improve outcomes for individuals with complex communication needs
  • Undergraduate and graduate education to prepare professionals to meet the needs of individuals who require AAC and their families as well as a doctoral-level program to prepare future researchers and leaders in the AAC field
  • Service delivery (AAC assessment and intervention services) and outreach to meet the communication needs of individuals who require AAC and their families…..more
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“Social media has opened a world of ‘Open Communication:’” Caron & Light (2015).

Jessica Caron and Janice Light report the results of an online focus group that was used to investigate the experiences of nine individuals with cerebral palsy who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and social media.

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Building EBP in AAC Display Design for Young Children — Publication

This research examined the design factors identified as priorities by SLPs when creating AAC displays for young children.

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“We Bought an iPad” — Publication

“The access to mobile technology and AAC applications does not guarantee communication competence. Team members need to work effectively with families to maximize outcomes. “

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Congratulations, Dr. Muttiah!

In recognition of the hard work and achievement of Penn State doctoral student, Dr. Nimisha Muttiah!

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Designing AAC Research and Intervention to Improve Outcomes — Publication.

This editorial utilizes “the framework proposed by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) to illustrate the need to re-think AAC intervention to improve outcomes for individuals with complex communication needs, and to foster a new generation of intervention research that will provide a solid foundation for improved services.”

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Representing AAC vocabulary for young children — Publication

Penn State grad Smita Worah’s work on developmentally appropriate symbols for young children with complex communication needs, ” A comparison of two approaches for representing AAC vocabulary for young children”, was recently published in the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.

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