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 “Communication Beyond Borders” as this year’s theme for International AAC Awareness Month, which they go on to define as “communication access for all”. ISAAC also asks that we use the hashtag #AACaware19 on social media.
Borders come in all different shapes, sizes, and kinds. How can you push beyond your borders this month to raise awareness, inform, advocate, and actively engage with AAC and those who use AAC to communicate?
For those of us in the United States, here are a few ideas to break beyond our country’s borders:
“Travel” virtually to Zagreb, Croatia and watch the 2019 ATAAC Conference online (October 15-17); learn from speakers from over 10 countries! A “watch online” ticket gets you access to all of the lectures for two weeks. (Check out our blog post HERE to find out how professors, students, and professionals working with non-profits can get free access.)
Jane Farrall is an Australian speech pathologist and special educator passionate about literacy, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Assistive Technology. Her blog is full of awesomeness (especially on emergent writing).
Ian Bean’s website (out of the UK), SENict, is bursting with accessible activities and support materials. While there is a paid section, there are tons of free teaching activities for switch, touch, mouse, and eye gaze to check out.
Podcasts, webinars, and YouTube videos offer amazing opportunities to venture beyond both our regional and knowledge borders.
PODCASTS you might not be aware of include:
Talking With Tech (ok - you might know about this one, but it is definitely worth a mention)
Easterseals Crossroads (Indiana) has three assistive tech/accessibility-related podcasts
Did we miss a podcast that you love? Share your suggestions below in comments.
PRC-Saltillo is offering a series of 3 webinars in honor of AAC Awareness Month! While the live webinars are now full, they will be recorded and available to view.
AAC In The Cloud is a FREE online conference that happens in June. The sessions from the past three years are still available to watch!
All AAC courses at XceptionalED are 10% off October 1 - 31, 2019!
Have you checked out our events calendar? Find out about AAC events near and far, including webinars!
Know of a webinar that we missed? Share your suggestions below in comments or contact us with details.
Sometimes we need inspiration from others (near or far) to encourage us beyond the boundaries of our comfort zone so that we can grow.
On Instagram? Check out The Great AAC Challenge 2019 (@thegreataacchallenge2019)
Reading blogs written by AAC users is a great way to expand beyond our current frame of reference.
What other resources do you look to for inspiration? Share your suggestions below in comments or contact us with details.
How are you getting involved in AAC Awareness Month? Tell us below in comments!