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Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is any device, system, or method that improves the ability of a person with a communication disability to communicate effectively. AAC is not a substitute for how the individual is currently communicating. It is used to augment that communication, replacing only elements that are unintelligible. Some forms of AAC include gestures, facial expressions, picture symbols/boards, and voice output communication devices.

AAC Evaluations

AAC assessments are conducted by SDATC Staff, which includes an appropriately credentialed and trained speech language pathologist. AAC assessments are to determine and recommend methods, devices, aids, and techniques to optimize communication and speech. These assessments can be done individually or as members of a collaborative team that may include the user, family/caregivers, social workers, OT/PT and other relevant persons (e.g., educational, vocational, and medical personnel). 

Assessment services include case consultation, an evaluation of augmentative communication, motor skills, accessibility aids that can range from no-tech to high-tech, as well as a comprehensive written report of the recommended technology. 

Fee: $100 per hour; usual range: $300 to $500

Note: Prior to making an appointment for an assessment, a funding source needs to be identified. UCP-SDATC accepts private payment, some insurance, school district contracts, and is an approved provider for adult clients of the San Diego Regional Center and the California Department of Rehabilitation.

If you are interested in obtaining an AAC evaluation or consultation, we would like to know more about the individual in need. Please share this info with us by completing our Background Information Form online or download the Form in English or Spanish and return it in one of the following ways:

Scanned to Email: Fschlosser@ucpsd.org
Fax: (619) 282-5133
Mail: UCP ADTC 8525 Gibbs Dr. #209, San Diego, CA 92123

Individualized Lab Appointments

An individualized lab appointment with SDATC staff can provide more in-depth information about equipment. It is geared towards a consumer’s individual needs for augmentative communication and/or computer access. These appointments are not intended to be a full and documented assessment.
Fee: 1 hour free

Staff Consultation

The San Diego Assistive Technology Staff is available to consult with therapists or assessment teams regarding their AAC needs. Staff can provide information for device features, access, programming, and vocabulary selection, creation, and organization.
Fee: $35.00 per hour

Professional Use of SDATC Equipment Lab

Speech and Language Pathologists, AT Specialists, and similar professionals may schedule appointments to use our lab and available equipment for an assessment or consultation of a specific consumer. Limited equipment support by SDATC staff included.
Fee: $35.00 per hour


For further information on any of these services, and answers to your AAC questions, contact Farah Schlosser at Fschlosser@ucpsd.org or call (858) 278-5420 x121.

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