Glossary

  • AAC - Augmentative and Alternative Communication
    AAC refers to using a form of communication to supplement or replace spoken and/or written words. AAC may include using signs/gestures, pictures, or an electronic device to help a person share his or her thoughts.

  • Remote Coaching and Virtual Coaching
    Using an online application (e.g., skype), provide AAC support, information, and development of partner skills. The process includes identifying a need or goal, learning strategies to address the goal, and improving practices and making adaptations until the need is met.

  • Aided Language Input
    Communication partners model (point to/touch symbols) on an AAC system as they are speaking, so that learners experience how their AAC system can be used to communicate.

  • Aided Language Stimulation
    A therapy technique where a communication partner points to/touches symbols on an AAC system as they are speaking so that learners experience how their AAC system can be used to communicate.

  • Partner- Augmented Input (PAI)
    The communication partner points to/touches symbols on an AAC system as they are speaking, so that learners experience how their AAC system can be used to communicate.

  • Device, Speech Generating Device (SGD), Voice Output Communication Aid (VOCA), Talker
    Electronic augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems used to supplement or replace speech or writing for individuals with severe speech impairments, enabling them to verbally communicate.

  • High-Tech AAC (High Tech)
    An electronic computer-based AAC system with voice output that can be either dedicated (e.g., only used for communication) or computer-based (e.g., laptop computer, iPad, Tablets). Examples include Accent devices from PRC and NovaChat devices from Saltillo.

  • Mid-Tech AAC (Mid Tech)
    Equipment that has an electronic component but not a full computer, such as a button or grid of buttons that can be recorded with messages. Examples include a GoTalk from AbleNet.

  • Low-Tech AAC (Low Tech)
    An object or paper AAC system designed for communication, such as a manual communication board or Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS).

  • No-Tech
    Language systems that do not require anything beyond the user’s body, such as signs or gestures.

  • Core vocabulary
    Approximately 300 words we use most often, in lots of different situations and activities. Core vocabulary accounts for up to 80% of what we say each day. Examples of core words include: I, you, like, give, want, go, more, good, finished, no, come, etc.

  • Fringe vocabulary
    The words specific to us and particular situations and activities. Examples of fringe words include: dog, pizza, dig, elevator, mountain, Aunt Claire, scissors, etc.

  • Assistive technology
    Any item, piece of equipment, or system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

  • Static display
    A static AAC system has a fixed set or grid of choices or icons. An example of this could be what is commonly referred to as a “choice board.”

  • Dynamic display
    A device where the display on the device can change, making it more versatile and offering a broader range of communicative options. For example, if a category is selected such as "pets", the display will change to show vocabulary dealing with pets.

  • Complex communication needs (CCN)
    A description used for a person who is not able to use speech as a primary means of communication and could benefit from AAC.

  • Communicate
    Thoughts, feelings, information about something is shared with another person by speaking, writing, sign language, body movement, AAC, etc.

  • Communication app
    A communication application (app) is a program used on a tablet, such as an iPad, to support communication.

  • Modeling
    The communication partner points to/touches symbols on an AAC system as they are speaking, so that learners experience how their AAC system can be used to communicate.

  • Motor Learning
    The process of acquiring a skill by which the learner, through practice and assimilation, refines and makes automatic the desired movement.

  • Motor planning
    When the same movement is repeated and practiced, an internal map or plan is created so the movement can be performed automatically. This allows movements to be performed accurately and efficiently with little or no cognitive effort. Skilled piano players can play a song without looking at the placement of their fingers or thinking about what notes to play. On a speech generating device, when the same motor movement consistently produces the same word, individuals can say a word without having to consciously think, allowing the effort to be directed to the conversation rather than accessing the device.

  • Direct Access
    A method an individual uses to activate an AAC system. Direct methods of access include pressing, touching, pointing, eye tracking, or head tracking to choose or activate a key. Individuals with physical limitations may be able to point or type using a different part of their bodies such as a fist or toes instead of a finger, or point with their eyes or head position to choose symbols.

  • Indirect Access
    Indirect access methods use scanning of icons or groups of icons to allow individuals to choose a word or phrase to communicate. Scanning allows individuals with severe physical limitations to activate either a single switch or a number of switches connected to the communication aid or computer to produce messages using voice output. The person selects what they want to say by activating the switch to control a moving cursor on the screen.

  • Symbols
    A graphic representation of words, phrases, or expressions used to convey messages. There are many different symbol sets including the alphabet, picture-like graphics, or combinations of different elements or forms to depict meanings. For people who cannot read or write, the ability to represent messages with symbols is central to communication.

  • Speech Language Pathologist (SLP)
    Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults. Some SLPs support the use of AAC systems for individuals with severe expressive and/or language comprehension disorders.

  • Gestures
    Gestures are non-verbal movements used to convey a message (i.e., pointing, nodding head, waving). Children who have not developed verbal communication or have just a few words, may rely on gestures to communicate.

  • Sign Language
    American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete, complex language that uses signs made by moving the hands combined with facial expressions and postures of the body. It is the primary language of many North Americans who are deaf and is one of several communication options used by people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing or individuals with difficulty communicating.

  • Smart Charts
    Visual representation of icon sequences used to represent various vocabulary words. Smart charts are organized by language system and key configuration.

  • Unity
    Language system on some of the PRC communication devices. The Unity language system is the original core word system that provides maximum flexibility, as well as communication and educational supports.

  • Essence
    Word based language system on some of the PRC communication devices. The Essence language system combines spelling with word prediction and abbreviation expansion for expressing novel thoughts

  • LAMP Words for Life
    Designed for people with autism learning to communicate with AAC, the LAMP Words for Life language system is a full language program that combines the power of PRC’s Unity language system with Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) principles and strategies.

  • UNIDAD
    The UNIDAD language system is a bilingual option designed to provide access to complete English and Spanish language systems within an AAC device.

  • CoreScanner
    The CoreScanner language system from PRC is one that directly addresses the unique needs of children who use switches to communicate and access language.

  • WordPower and Picture WordPower
    WordPower is a word-based generative language system that combines core vocabulary and spelling with grammar and spelling prediction. It facilitates fast, efficient communication for nonspeaking individuals in a short period of time.

  • PASS
    The PASS software download allows you to run the various language configurations (i.e. Unity, UNIDAD, CoreScanner, LAMP Words for Life, WordPower, Essence) on your computer, all without having to use a device.

  • Realize Language
    Realize Language is an online service that gives ways to monitor, measure, and maximize a student’s use of a communication device

  • Language Screener
    A tool that allows users to quickly assess the stage of language that their student is in and how to determine when they are ready to move forward to the next stage.

  • Core Word Starter Set
    A Set of lesson plans that give access to a variety of activities based on the top 20 words that students typically begin using first.

  • Language Stages
    The “Stages” that form the foundation of the AAC Language Lab are a compilation of information on language development gathered from a vast number of re-sources, and organized in a single chart of teachable segments, called Stages.

  • Emergent
    A communicator whose use of symbolic language is just beginning. Most utterances consist of one word.

  • Morphemes
    The smallest units of meaning. This includes prefixes and suffixes.

  • Spanish
    Materials on the Lab that have been translated into the Spanish language

  • Young Adult
    Materials on the Lab that are appropriate for older students and young adults. Content will be visually appropriate and content will be more meaningful for older students.

  • Mobile
    Materials on the Lab based on apps and mobile technology

  • UK
    Materials on the Lab whose content will be relevant for students from the United Kingdom including England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland.

  • Target Vocabulary
    Specific words in lesson plans and activities that will be addressed

  • Keywords
    General terms used to find content on the site

  • Filters
    Terms used to find specific content on the site such as specific grade levels, holidays or specific activities

  • News 2 You
    Weekly newspaper of current event lessons by the N2Y company used in many classrooms

  • Unique Learning System
    The Unique Learning System is a one-of-a-kind program designed specifically to give students with complex learning needs meaningful access to the general education curriculum.

  • Morphology
    The study of morphemes, the smallest unit of meaning.

  • Manual Board
    Low tech representation of a communication device. Manual boards can be used as a back up system of communication or to model vocabulary for a student.




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