Original Research

Augmentative and alternative communication: Relevance for physiotherapists

J. Rose, E. Alante
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 57, No 4 | a518 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v57i4.518 | © 2018 J. Rose, E. Alante | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 August 2018 | Published: 30 November 2001

About the author(s)

J. Rose, Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, University of Pretoria, South Africa
E. Alante, Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

Communication is one of the critical components in determining quality of life of individuals and families. All members of the transdisciplinary rehabilitation team therefore need to develop the knowledge and skills to communicate effectively with clients with little or no speech. This involves creating opportunities for communicative interaction and facilitation of functional communication. The field of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) provides strategies and techniques which facilitate the interaction process and is applicable to a wide range of medical conditions which may impact on the functionality and intelligibility of speech. These strategies are classified either as aided or unaided. The role of the physiotherapist in AAC assessment and intervention is explored in the context of transdisciplinary teamwork. The importance of exposing students to AAC as part of the undergraduate and postgraduate training programs for physiotherapists is discussed.


Keywords

quality of life; augmentative and alternative communication; physiotherapy; transdisciplinary teamwork; training

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