Definition of Communication

Communication is the active process of exchanging information and ideas. Communication involves both understanding and expression. Forms of expression may include personalized movements, gestures, objects, vocalizations, verbalizations, signs, pictures, symbols, printed words, and output from augmentative and alternative (AAC) devices.

Bottom Line: 

When individuals communicate effectively, they are able to express needs, wants, feelings, and preferences that others can understand.


Beukelman, D. & Mirenda, P. (2013). Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Supporting Children & Adults with Complex Communication Needs 4th Edition. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.


Return to the National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons With Severe Disabilities (NJC) topic areas list.

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