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 of the ASHA Special Interest Groups

Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups is the SIG's online publication. SIG 12's continuously-built issue contributes 4 self-study CE activities a year.

Online Chats

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.

Continuing Education

  • 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.

Coordinating Committee Members

  • 2018–2020 Coordinator: Nicole L. Dupre, Houston Independent School District
  • 2018–2020 Editor: Deanna M. Hughes, Crimson Center for Speech & Language
  • 2017–2019 Professional Development Manager: Michelle L. Gutmann, Purdue University
  • 2018–2020 Member-At-Large: Kathy V. Beatty, The Speech Pathology Group
  • 2015–2018 Member-At-Large: Katya Hill, University of Pittsburgh; AAC Institute
  • 2017–2019 Member-At-Large: Angela Standridge, Region 4 Education Service Center
  • Ex Officio: Brooke E. Hatfield, Associate Director, Clinical Issues in Speech-Language Pathology, ASHA 

Editorial Review Committee

  • Deanna M. Hughes, Editor
  • Skye Lewis
  • Kathleen A. Post
  • Kathy Thiemann-Bourque
  • Jessica A. Walker
  • Michelle L. Gutmann, Professional Development Manager
  • Brooke E. Hatfield, Ex Officio

Professional Development Committee

  • Michelle L. Gutmann, Professional Development Manager
  • Anna A. Allen
  • Amy Lynn Bereiter
  • Ebony Roniece Brown
  • Kathryn T. D'Agostino
  • Susan K. DeWitt
  • Kerry Ann Hankins
  • Maegan E. Kiger
  • Steven A. Kleinsasser
  • Kelli M. Knight
  • Shannon T. Paige
  • Jill E. Senner
  • Gail M. Van Tatenhove
  • Margaret T. Vento-Wilson
  • Barbara S. Weber
  • Gemma S. White
  • Deanna M. Hughes, Editor
  • Brooke E. Hatfield, Ex Officio

Staff Liaison for Communications

Frank Wisswell, Production Editor, ASHA

Liaisons to the ASHA Board of Directors

  • Robert C. Fifer, 2016–2018 Vice President for Audiology Practice
  • Marie C. Ireland, 2018–2020 Vice President for Speech-Language Pathology Practice

ASHA Corporate Partners