It is important to listen to AAC users and include them in conversations and really listen to what they have to say.
I am not an AAC user. I just have one experience of using AAC temporarily. The one time I had almost no misunderstandings with other people was when I had an issue with my vocal cords for about a month. The day after I stopped using text-to-speech apps and AAC apps, someone misinterpreted my words. And it was because I was physically speaking to them so I didn’t have time to state my thoughts.
If AAC was more generally accepted in society and accommodated by others, I would probably be a partial AAC user right now. However, that’s not the world we live in.
Please share the words of people who use AAC or other alternative communication methods. It’s really, really important. Physically speaking should not be seen as the only way of communicating. This needs to change.
Not long after I had posted about a cancer scare I was dealing with recently, I received a very interesting message from an SLP that I’ve been replaying in my head a lot.
“I don’t understand why you’re not verbal.”
They listed all the reasons why they thought I could be nonspeaking, and then asked if it was just because I was more comfortable communicating with a device – as if I needed to justify to a stranger why I use assistive technology.
[Friendly reminder once *again* that I use AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) primarily due to aphasia/brain damage and also autism.]
They then continued with “a device will never be as quick to communicate as a face-to-face conversation.”
At first, I brushed it off gently – thinking maybe I was more upset than usual due to being significantly stressed out.
But then I realized that this was an…
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