This article summarizes the need for alternate forms of communication for those who are unable to use verbal speech. The importance of allied health professionals in understanding alternative communication is critical in patient care. The authors describe the various forms of augmentative and alternate communication devices that can be used to help a non-verbal individual communicate their wants, needs, and thoughts. Financial and social consequences for using these devices is discussed.

Author Bio(s)

Richard Dressler, Ph.D. has over 30 years of experience working with persons who have suffered neurogenic communication disorders. He has authored several publications of therapeutic materials including software to assist with recovery of language disorders. He has also directed a specialize program to assist students who have suffered brain injuries to achieve academic success.

Lauren Bland, Ph.D. has taught numerous courses in Augmentative Communication and Professional Issues. There she has served as the Interim Associate Dean for the College of Health and Human Services and as the Interim Department Head for Communication Sciences and Disorders. In addition to presenting several times at American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, she has served on several Convention program committees and as a peer reviewer for several journals and books.

Meghan Baumgartner, B.S. is an alumni student of Western Kentucky University and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication Science and Disorders and Spanish. She has served as the treasurer for the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association as is currently teaching English for an academic year in Extremadura, Spain.



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