Penn State center hosting national AAC conference

July 06, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. —The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (RERC on AAC) at Penn State will host a national conference on the State of the Science in AAC on Friday, July 13, in Arlington, Virginia.

The conference will bring together key stakeholders, including individuals who use AAC, family members, clinicians, researchers, assistive technology manufacturers, app developers, policymakers and government personnel. 

There are more than 4 million Americans who are not able to rely on their speech to communicate due to developmental, acquired or degenerative conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke and ALS. Without access to speech, these individuals are severely restricted in their communication and participation in society. The development of augmentative and alternative communication technologies and strategies has enabled these individuals to communicate with others and participate actively in education, employment, health care, family life and community living.

The RERC on AAC is supported by a five-year federal grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, with the mission to conduct research, development, training and dissemination to improve outcomes for individuals who require AAC.

At the State of the Science conference, participants will discuss the state of the science in AAC, consider implications for practice, and identify directions for future research and development. Presenters include RERC on AAC researchers; National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research personnel; and persons who use AAC.

“AAC is my bridge to the world, and a window for the world to see the real me,” said Chris Klein, a participant at the State of the Science conference and an expert user of AAC technologies. “It supported me in moving from frustration to communication, and from isolation to relationships with others. AAC has given me the tools to live independently; to participate in society; and to contribute to the lives of others as a husband, teacher and friend.”

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Last Updated July 06, 2018