The Northwest Augmentative Communication Society (NWACS) is the oldest and longest-running organization in the Pacific Northwest for the support of persons with complex communication needs. This non-profit group was originally founded in the late 1970's under the name “Pacific Northwest Non-Vocal Communication Group.” It pre-dates the establishment of ISAAC (the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication) in1983 and its American chapter, USSAAC.
David Beukelman, one of the foremost authorities in the field of AAC, was a driving force for the creation of what is now known as NWACS and served as its first president of the Board. He, along with dedicated others working with children and adults with complex communication needs, sought to provide a network for professionals and families in the emerging field of AAC.
Over the years, NWACS has provided annual conferences featuring prominent leaders in the field, such as Janice Light, Patricia Dowden, Pat Mirenda, Gail Van Tatenhove, Carolyn Musselwhite, Pati King-DeBaun, and Sarah Blackstone. Additionally, NWACS has provided hands-on training workshops and evening seminars featuring local specialists to help practitioners and families network and stay current with information, techniques and equipment. More recently, NWACS has developed a website aimed at providing online informational resources and opportunities for networking with others throughout the Pacific Northwest.
NWACS is committed to meeting the needs of its members and larger AAC community through venues with the greatest impact. Based on recent membership feedback, our current focus will revolve around our annual conferences and online community.