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This month brings a wide range of opportunities to celebrate and show appreciation for unique and special people and situations. Get involved with and learn more about Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) during this important season of celebrating how far the world has come with AAC and also raising awareness to take this form of communication even further into the future.

History of International AAC Awareness Month

The inaugural International AAC Awareness Month was celebrated in 2007 when it was founded with the support of several organizations including the United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (USSACC), the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISACC), and other partners.

The purpose of this event is to use the time during the month to raise awareness, inform, educate, and garner support around the topic of communication that is unique and different from the status quo. For instance, many people don’t realize that AAC is any sort of alternative form of communication other than talking. This might include sign language, gestures, body postures, facial expression or aided modes like tablets or communication devices.

Each year, the team at International AAC Awareness Month provides a theme around which topics of discussion and teaching can be built. Some of the themes for this month in the past have included:

  • Say What? Sharing Your Most Memorable Moments with AAC (2023)
  • Show Your Voice (2022)
  • Get Out, Speak Up, and Break through the Screen in a Recovering World (2021)
  • Bridging the Silence Through Solidarity (2020)

How to Celebrate International AAC Awareness Month

Looking for ideas on how to get more involved with observing and celebrating International AAC Awareness Month? Take a look at some of these ideas to get started.

Learn More About AAC

One of the best ways to show care and respect for International AAC Awareness Month would be to get more educated and knowledgeable about some of the various issues, needs and even benefits surrounding the topic of alternative forms of communicating.

Consider some of these facts to learn and share:

  • AAC can help support and develop natural speech by using devices.

  • Learning AAC is kind of like learning a foreign language, so the learning process is helped when someone uses it to communicate back.

  • AAC can reduce the stress and severity of challenging behavior by reducing the frustration behind the inability to communicate.

  • AAC can be used with people of most any cognitive abilities, even those who may have significant intellectual disabilities.

Raise Awareness for AAC Month

Those who feel connected to or passionate about AAC can spend time during this month letting others know about this unique element of communication and how they can be supportive. Whether arranging a learning event at a school, hosting an educational seminar at a university or just sharing on social media, anytime people are more informed, that’s a step in the right direction for International AAC Awareness Month!

Support Someone with AAC

This could manifest itself in a variety of ways, from volunteering to help with children who have special needs to becoming a special education teacher, and so much more. Some people might even feel compelled to work as engineers on projects that will help people with disabilities to better communicate with the use of technology.

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