The International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) established International AAC Awareness Month in October 2007. It is celebrated around the world each October. The goal is to raise awareness of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and to inform the public about the many different ways in which people communicate using communication devices and other visual communication supports.
ISAAC has chosen “Dare to Lead” as this year’s theme for International AAC Awareness Month, challenging us to plan events and activities that bring to life the visions of people who use AAC toward future leadership opportunities – locally, nationally or internationally. #AACaware18 has been identified as the hashtag for use on social media.
Communication Bill of Rights
To become a leader, one must be an effective communicator. To have access to communication at all times. To have access to a full, robust vocabulary. To be able to interact socially and build relationships. To provide information, make comments, and share opinions. To participate fully.
In 1995, the National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities (NJC) published the first Communication Bill of Rights. It was later revised in 2015. The Communication Bill of Rights affirms the rights of all individuals (including those with severe disabilities) to benefit from communication interventions, and everything that entails.
Building Awareness of AAC
This AAC Awareness Month, take time to familiarize yourself with the Communication Bill of Rights - and share it with others. Consider how each of those fundamental communication rights directly impacts an individual’s ability to lead.
Looking for more ideas of how you can expand knowledge and understanding of AAC, for both yourself and others? Check out the list of ideas we shared last year HERE, the list of ideas from PrAACtical AAC HERE, and the ideas from USSAAC HERE.
There are many ways in which you can help build awareness and understanding of AAC. Pick one and let us know how it goes!
How are you getting involved in AAC Awareness Month? Tell us in comments!