About Special Interest Group 12, Augmentative and Alternative Communication
The mission of SIG on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, the SIG dedicated to improving the quality and availability of AAC services to consumers throughout the life span, is to promote clinically relevant research, educate and mentor current and future professionals, and identify and address the needs of service providers in the professions of speech-language pathology and audiology.
It is the goal of the Special Interest Group for Augmentative and Alternative Communication to:
- Promote continuing education for ASHA members at introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels;
- Advocate for ASHA membership regarding clinical service needs; and
- Advocate for preservice and inservice personnel preparation in the area of augmentative and alternative communication.
Professional and Clinical Issues
Affiliate members have a direct voice in addressing issues that impact on their profession, to communicate and network on a variety of topics, and to identify clinical issues that need immediate attention. It is hoped that working groups will be developed to focus on topics important to the affiliates. Possible areas of interest include the following:
- Assistive technologies
- Language development patterns of augmented communicators
- Predictive evaluation procedures
- Specialty certification
- Early identification of children at risk for developing speech
- Innovations in intervention models
- Directions for the development of technology that promotes language and communication development
- AAC caseload size
- Funding of AAC services
- Intensity and frequency of direct services
- Literacy development of augmented communicators
- Currently available inservice materials and opportunities
- Preservice coursework in AAC
- Preservice practicum requirement
- Facilitating research in AAC
- Ethical issues in AAC
Affiliate Benefits and SIG Programs
Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication is the SIG's online publication, published by ASHA with HighWire Press. Perspectives is published four times annually, in April, June, September, and December. SIG 12's Perspectives issues are offered for self-study to earn CEUs. Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication features:
- News of SIG activities
- The latest on research and clinical topics
- Coverage of current professional, practice, and legislative and regulatory issues
SIGs sponsor live online chats. These events feature topic experts who answer questions from the audience. All ASHA and NSSLHA members may attend. Live online chats are not eligible for CEUs. Archived chats can be accessed online.
- The SIG sponsors a Short Course and a seminar at the annual ASHA Convention.
- Perspectives contains continuing education articles. Readers may earn ASHA continuing education credit by completing self-study questions related to those articles. SIG affiliates may complete the self-study for a $5 processing fee.
- Short Course: SIG affiliates are eligible for a 50% discount on select Short Courses at the ASHA Convention.
SIG affiliates have the opportunity to identify others with interest in augmentative and alternative communication:
- SIG 12 has an online community where affiliates can discuss topics related to augmentative and alternative communication.
- SIG 12 hold an annual affiliate meeting at the ASHA Convention.
Representation Within ASHA
- The SIG 12 Coordinator represents the Special Interest Group on Augmentative and Alternative Communication within the ASHA Board of Special Interest Group Coordinators.
- The Coordinating Committee responds to ASHA requests for input regarding policy, guidelines, committees, and other issues.
- Affiliates have the opportunity to provide input to the SIG leadership and ASHA.
Coordinator: Mary Ann H. Lowe, Nova Southeastern University
Associate Coordinator: Gail Van Tatenhove, AACell, Inc.
Perspectives Editor: Sandra Grether, Cincinnati Children's Hospital
Mary Ann Abbott, Los Angeles Unified School District/California State University, Los Angeles
Meher Banajee, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
Ex Officio: Leigh Deussing, Associate Director, Clinical Issues in Speech-Language Pathology, ASHA
Additional SIG Volunteers
CE Content Manager: BJ Gallagher, McDaniel College
Editorial Review Board
Staff Liaison for Communications
Frank Wisswell, Editorial Assistant, ASHA
Donna Fisher Smiley, Vice President for Audiology Practice
Gail J. Richard, Vice President for Speech-Language Pathology Practice