Augmentative And Alternative Communication Devices
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices in the teaching and learning process have given a new lease of life to special needs learners. AAC devices allow learners to participate effectively in the teaching and learning process and take summative and formative assessments without much struggle. Different kinds of AAC devices can come in handy in the classroom to ensure seamless learning.
First, I find using charts and image cards as a form of AAC device instrumental in aiding learning. Image cards and pictures with related words in the classroom showing different kinds of emotions, activities, and actions will, for instance, enable special needs learners to comprehend certain concepts very easily. Emotions such as hunger, anger, love, and activities such as eating, sleeping, walking, jumping, and reading can be taught very well using these pictures (Augmentative and alternative communication, 2020). The teacher must point at the pictures to initiate a simulated learning environment. However, it is essential to note that the charts or image cards cannot be used independently to communicate complex thoughts, hence the need to use other AAC devices.
According to the Augmentative and Alternative Communication ( 2020) report, the use of pen and paper as an AAC device comes in handy to spice up the communication process. Teachers can request special needs learners to put their thoughts down on paper. The learners can have small notebooks where they put down their ideas as a form of communication. However, this is a temporary approach but very practical in the classroom scenario. Using tablets and other tools, such as mobile devices, becomes another popular AAC device in ensuring a smooth teaching and learning process (Sheehy, K. & Duffy, 2009). The tablets can, for instance, be installed with several apps that can aid learning. This will give the gifted or special needs learners more room to express themselves. The size and portability of the devices also make them very convenient to use. Though these devices, such as mobile phones, have tiny keyboards, making it difficult for some motor skills-challenged learners to operate, their contribution to active learning is substantial.
According to Sheehy, K. & Duffy (2009), schools with classrooms with computers and keyboards as AAC devices have witnessed seamless learning. Computer technology provides a large screen instead of tablets or mobile phones. This means that learners, more so with seeing challenges, can receive information and respond in real-time as the keyboards can be made more interactive to suit the needs of the special learners.
AAC electronic devices allow learners to do various things, such as speaking, listening, reading, and writing. These devices make it possible for learners to talk to their friends and family with ease. The ease of learning has been made possible by several of these devices. These devices have been made in a way that they have aspects that aid in sight and sound. Those that help in sight entail things such as image cards. Image cards have proven to assist special-needs learners in learning advanced and sophisticated aspects of language use, such as constructing various sentence structures.
According to the Augmentative and Alternative Communication report (2020), picture cards equally boost the formation of various vocabularies. Learners who are extremely challenged can use devices that give them room to pass across affirmative or negative responses. The use of these devices, therefore, allows learners to have fertile ground in developing their cognitive and intellectual prowess, boosting their confidence levels before their friends in school and even at home.
We also have other AAC devices that are mechanically or electro-mechanically activated. These devices come in handy to help special needs students more than those that have speech problems. The tools allow the coordination of various body parts, such as the hands and fingers. For situations where we have learners who find using the standard keyboard a challenge, the manuals can be reconfigured to allow some room for hand coordination. These will, therefore, make the special needs learners have an easy time in the teaching and learning process. Some devices have selections that allow special needs learners to input the message they want to convey directly or indirectly using their hands, eyes, or even by word of mouth.
According to Sheehy, K. & Duffy (2009), there are some AAC devices specifically designed for those learners that cannot initiate communication on there, meaning that they have to be assisted in one way or another. The AAC devices that have options for learners to use in delivering the message have made learning very easy for them. This is because computers, laptops, tablets, and even smartphones have platforms where learners can easily exploit their motor skills. Touchscreen developments on AAC devices have made it easy for learners to quickly and aptly communicate messages. The touch screen option has made it easy for special needs learners to interact with content and express themselves easily. The devices have also come with an improved visual ability, making it easy for those learners to have visual challenges to circumnavigate through.
According to the Augmentative and Alternative Communication report (2020), some special needs learners can also use Brain-Computer Interface (BCI). These devices allow coordination between the brain and other parts of the body. The BCIs can be implanted in the brain, and some can be used externally. These devices have made it very easy for special needs learners to overcome challenges initially deemed innate.
In conclusion, using AACs in the teaching and learning process has made learning some subjects, such as Mathematics and English, very easy for special needs and gifted learners. The devices have contributed a lot in making learning more interactive and seamless as special-needs learners have greatest challenges have been reduced by a great percentage. E even learning second languages has become very easy because of the apps the electronic AACs have installed in them. The devices have also been made to be more learner and teacher-friendly. In learning concepts such as literacy and arithmetic, special AACs filled with relevant content have made it easy for teachers to easily break down concepts for learners.
More research is also being done on special conditions children are born with and the AACs they can use to make them lead normal lives. The use of AAC devices is indeed a heavenly sent solution for teaching learners with special needs.
Augmentative and alternative communication. (2020). Retrieved 16 August 2020, from https://www.readandspell.com/augmentative-alternative-communication
Sheehy, K. & Duffy, H.(2009). Attitudes to Makaton in the ages on integration and inclusion. International Journal of Special Education, 24(2), 91–102.
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In addition to your completed lesson plan, justify your augmentative and alternative communication devices or other assistive technology choices in a 250-500 word rationale.
Support your choices with 2-3 scholarly resources. Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines in the Style Guide in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required. This assignment uses a rubric. Review the rubric before beginning the assignment to familiarize yourself with the expectations for successful completion.
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