ISAAC, the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication, is pleased to announce that October is designated as Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Awareness Month. This ISAAC initiative began in 2007.
ISAAC's goal is to create worldwide awareness about how AAC can help individuals with little or no speech, communicate using assistive technology tools and strategies to solve everyday communicative challenges.
AAC Awareness Month, themed Dare to Lead, is dedicated to raising awareness of AAC and to inform the public about the many different ways in which people communicate using high-tech or low-tech communication aids and innovative communication strategies. The month of celebration is also designed to sing the praises of people who use AAC and their leadership within their communities.
"AAC enables users to master their unique challenges and equips them with tools to live without limitations, restoring their ability to communicate with the world around them," said Lateef McLeod, ISAAC Chair for the Lead Committee.
"ISAAC is dedicated to integrating alternative methods of communication into society so we can focus on celebrating the gifts, heart and brilliance of people who use AAC devices. Dare to Lead is intended to inspire ISAAC members, people who use AAC aids, their families, and support teams to become community leaders, paving the way for understanding, acceptance, and awareness."
Notably, renowned physicist Professor Stephen Hawking was able to bring attention to the technology and people who use AAC devices. Hawking once said, "we have a moral duty to remove the barriers to participation, and to invest sufficient funding and expertise to unlock the vast potential of people with disabilities." Support and devices have continued to evolve over the years, making it possible for him and others to communicate, both in spoken and written form.
Earlier this year, ISAAC hosted a Short-Film Festival to feature stories from the AAC community, visit https://www.isaac-online.org/english/conference-2018/isaac-short-film-festival/ to see community members who Dare to Lead, demonstrating their unique gifts and watch Cristian Rosas' film "My Grito" as he celebrates his love for mariachis.
One of the video entries called Aphasia shares that iPad technology "helps us connect in different ways with each other, because we all have different ways of connecting, but as a whole group were helping each other express what we feel inside as a person with aphasia."
During this month, ISAAC engages its 15 Chapters around the world to plan and/or attend AAC awareness events in their communities, or participate in online events.
Chapters are encouraged to shine a light on the visions and leadership capabilities people who use AAC toward future leadership opportunities - locally, nationally or internationally.
ISAAC members include people who use AAC, their families, therapists, teachers, students, doctors, researchers, organizations and companies that make communication aids.
Visit isaac-online.org to learn about AAC awareness month activities happening around the world.
Special thank you to this year's initiative sponsor Attainment Company (https://www.attainmentcompany.com). Attainment Company is an independent, family-owned business based in Verona, Wisconsin, dedicated to helping people with disabilities succeed at school, work, and life.
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