AAC: Creating Systems for Individual Success. RICAA Conference 2023

In May, I was honoured to present the opening Keynote address at Rencontres Internationales des Communications Alternatives et Améliorées (RICAA) in Toulouse. I wanted to start by saying a huge thank-you to the conference organisers for inviting me! Merci beaucoup!!

The focus for my presentation was communication autonomy - and the importance of using the Participation Model (Beukelman & Mirenda, 2013) for AAC intervention. The Participation Model does an awesome job of prompting us to cover all the factors involved in building autonomous communication - and the importance of addressing them all in our intervention.

If you aren't familiar with the Participation Model, I have put it as a download below in both English and French. (One of the fabulous benefits of presenting at RICAA was working with Mathilde Mella from CAApables, one of the conference organisers. Mathilde also translated all our presentations and resources into French - merci Mathilde!).

When I first started working in AAC, I focused mostly on the areas listed under Access Barriers. However, as I became more experienced I realised that the Opportunity Barriers are just as important and needed just as much of my attention. In fact, there are times that the Opportunity Barriers need more focus, because they can prove to be such an obstacle to an individual's communication development.

The Participation Model also guides us to use Dynamic Assessment processes, which allow us to address participation barriers while the individual is learning more about communication. It also demonstrates that AAC intervention and assessment is a process of ongoing review.

And that process of ongoing review is aimed at Autonomous Communication. So, I started my presentation by expanding on what that is - and I've put the handout for my keynote at RICAA 2023 below, again in both English and French. (And thanks to Drawn to AAC for the great AAC images that she makes available.)

Presentation in French:

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