AAC Language Representation Methods


This course provides information on a structured approach to AAC assessment and intervention that focuses on language issues rather than technology features.


Katya Hill, Ph.D, CCC-SLP

• Does not have any financial relationships to disclose. However, many of the concepts, principles and models presented are from her publications, research, patents and authored products. Any revenue from products goes to the AAC Institute, a nonprofit organization.
• Has a nonfinancial relationship. Dr. Hill is the Executive Director of the AAC Institute, a volunteer position.

Barry Romich

• Does not have any financial relationship to disclose.
• Has a nonfinancial relationship as the co-founder, previous owner, and current Chairman of the Board for the Prentke Romich Company (PRC). Mr. Romich is the Chief Operating Officer and member of the Board of Trustees for the AAC Institute, a volunteer position.

Bruce Baker

• Has a financial relationship to disclose as the owner of the intellectual property related to Minspeak products and President of Semantic Compaction Systems, Inc.
• Does not have any nonfinancial relationships to disclose.

David Chapple

• Does not have any financial or non-financial relationships to disclose.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of this activity, participants will be able to:

1. Define the goal of AAC and the components of evidence-based practice.
2. Describe the difference between core and extended vocabulary
3. List the three (3) language representation methods
4. Identify at least 3 characteristics and attributes of single meaning pictures/symbols.
5. Identify at least 3 characteristics and attributes of alphabet-based methods.
6. Identify at least 3 characteristics and attributes of Semantic Compaction.
7. Compare at least 2 benefits and disadvantages of each of the 3 AAC language representation methods.
8. Discuss consumer values and expectations for using AAC


This activity is offered for up to 0.3 CEUs (3.0 hour of instruction).

Course Fee

Free; This course is without charge. However, your generosity will help grow our advocacy efforts, internet-based course offerings, podcasts and webinars, and continue to help people using AAC. Please consider a donation to AACI. All donations are tax-deductible.

Module 1 Authors and Background
Unit 1 Introduction
Unit 2 Authors
Unit 3 Course Outline
Unit 4 The Challenge of AAC
Unit 5 The Goal of AAC
Unit 6 International Acceptance for the Goal of AAC
Unit 7 Evidence-Based Practice (EBP)
Unit 8 Spontaneous Novel Utterance Generation (SNUG)
Unit 9 Core Vocabulary
Unit 10 Core and Extended Vocabulary (cont.)
Unit 11 Extended Vocabulary
Unit 12 Picture Producers
Unit 13 Language Representation Methods used in AAC
Unit 14 Exploration of the Attributes of the Method
Unit 15 Why be Concerned with Language Representation Methods used in AAC?
Module 2 Graphic and Lexical Symbols
Unit 1 Background on AAC Symbols and their Use
Unit 2 Iconicity
Unit 3 Levels of Iconicity
Unit 4 Application of Levels of Iconicity
Unit 5 Emergence of Graphic Symbols Used in AAC
Unit 6 Selecting Graphic Symbols for AAC
Unit 7 Examples of Graphic Symbols
Unit 8 Lexical AAC Symbols
Module 3 Language Representation Methods and Alphabet-Based Methods
Unit 1 Language Representation Methods
Unit 2 Alphabet-Based Methods
Unit 3 Word Prediction
Unit 4 Letter Coding
Unit 5 Orthographic Word Selection
Unit 6 Using Alphabet-Based Methods in Combination
Module 4 Single Meaning Pictures
Unit 1 Description of the method
Unit 2 Single Meaning Pictures as a Language Representation Method
Unit 3 One Picture Means One Word
Unit 4 Size of the Symbol Set
Unit 5 Length of the Symbol Sequences
Unit 6 Ease of Use at First Encounter and Training Requirements
Unit 7 Automaticity and Long Term Performance
Unit 8 Use for Core and Extended Vocabulary
Module 5 Semantic Compaction
Unit 1 Description of the Semantic Compaction Method
Unit 2 Unity
Unit 3 Basic Principle of Semantic Compaction
Unit 4 Use of Collocations
Unit 5 Exploration of the attributes of semantic compaction
Module 6 Comparison, Use and Choice of Multiple LRMs
Unit 1 Comparing Language Representation Methods
Unit 2 Comparing Language Representation Methods (cont.)
Unit 3 Comparing Communication Rate
Unit 4 Using Multiple Methods for Communication
Unit 5 Consumer Perspectives
Unit 6 Summary
Unit 7 Course ID#1: CEU Evaluation
Module 7 References
Unit 1 References
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