Provide access to the AAC system
Make sure that the AAC user can always access the AAC device.
Charge it at night when the child is sleeping.
Why access to the AAC system is important? Access to their AAC systems is necessary for users. They need to express their feelings and wishes whenever they want to. To communicate what they want, they must reach the AAC system. If the AAC device is available only at certain times in the day, it's not helpful. AAC should always be available.
How to make AAC always available?
It needs to become part of the daily routine. Keep it with the AAC user everywhere.
Work on remembering to take it wherever you go. This sends the message that AAC, and the AAC user's voice, is important.
Make sure that charging cables are available so it can stay charged.
Don't let the AAC stay in a bag. Take it out.
Only leave the AAC device behind if you're going to an unsuitable place for it (like somewhere with sand and water because they might get stuck into the device). Then see if you can bring a substitute, like laminated paper.
Do you need paper-based alternatives?
Yes! We highly recommend them. They can help you a lot. For example, if you go to the pool or at the beach, it will help both you and the AAC user to have a paper-based copy of the system. This way, communication never stops. The user can still tell needs even if the high-tech device is not around.
How to make paper-based communication boards?
1. Make screenshots of the vocabularies from the Fluent AAC app. 2. Print the pages front-back or how you think it would be more comfortable for the user. 3. You should laminate the pages. This way, the paper will not be affected if the communication board gets dirty. 4. You can attach something to them like a paper clip or carry them as they are whenever you want.
How to use paper-based communication boards?
Print multiple copies and put them in different areas of the house. You can make one available in every room
Share copies with all team members
Send the files to print shops to have poster-sized boards made
Use them with AAC users that don't yet have their AAC system
Use them in messy or wet situations, where an iPad might get damaged
Model on these communication boards, when the AAC user doesn’t want you to use their AAC tool. (we will discuss Modeling in the following lessons)