Are you new to AAC?


Are you new here?

This website is all about Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) methods and aids that can be used by people who have little or no clear speech. To get you started have a look at our FAQs and factsheets.

Hopefully the links below will give you some quick routes to start finding your way round.

What is AAC? 
You'll find plenty of information here explaining augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and providing plenty of useful links and definitions such as  aphasiacerebral palsylocked-in syndrome  to give you a bit more information.


CM-AAC Forum 
The Communication Matters website has an  online AAC forum as well as plenty of other resources that may be of interest to you. 


Here are some words typically used when describing people's communication: voice, language, speech, and hearing difficulties affecting children and adults expressing themselves.

  • aphasia - dysphasia  - complete or partial loss of language and communication skills, usually after suffering a stroke
  • apraxia - dyspraxia  - inability to perform movements with normal accuracy, although physically able and willing to do them
  • dysarthria  - speech that is slurred, slow, and difficult to understand


You may be interested in resources which have been labelled with some medical descriptions and terms. This evidence covers a range of topics, such as employment, role models and funding.

  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder & Asperger syndrome (ASD) - congenital conditions that affect people in a spectrum of ways, characterised by difficulties with social interaction
  • Cerebral Palsy (CP) - chronic conditions affecting body movements and muscle coordination, caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain
  • Complex communication needs (CCN) - people with severe communication impairments; including autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and multiple disabilities
  • Dementia  - a set of progressive symptoms including loss of memory, mood changes, and problems with communication and reasoning: the most common types are Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia
  • Developmental-learning disabilitiy  - difficulty understanding new or complex information and affecting communication
  • Locked-in syndrome  - a rare neurological disorder characterised by complete paralysis in all parts of the body except for those that control eye movement, resulting from traumatic brain injury or diseases affecting circulation or nerve cells: thinking and reasoning function normally, but there is inability to speak or move
  • Motor neurone disease (MND)  - a progressive condition that damages the nervous system, leaving muscles wasted and weak: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common degenerative disease of the motor neuron(e) system, with the term reserved for the form that involves upper and lower motor neuron(e)s
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)  - a neurological condition, normally diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 and 40, with a set of physical symptoms: vision, balance, fatigue, bladder, bowel, spasms, tremor, speech and swallowing
  • Parkinson's disease  - a progressive neurological condition, mainly affecting people aged 50+, where a lack of the chemical 'dopamine' causes movements to become slower and a tremor develops
  • Spinal injury  - injuries to the cervical spinal cord may result in dysarthria
  • Stroke-CVA  - medical term for sudden loss of sensation and control caused by rupture or obstruction of a blood vessel of the brain e.g. a blood clot; may be referred to as CVA - cerebrovascular accident
  • Brain injury (TBI)  - acquired traumatic brain injury from damage to the brain; symptoms include slurred speech

December 2012.