Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems help individuals who have significant difficulties using spoken words or written text to communicate successfully. These systems can be used on a short or long term basis depending on the needs of the individual.

There are many reasons children may have difficulty speaking and/or writing. These include developmental delays such as cerebral palsy, autism, mental retardation, and childhood apraxia of speech, as well as acquired disorders such as traumatic brain injury, and/ or multiple sclerosis.

An estimated two million Americans, 1.3% of the population, have a communication impairment to the extent that they are unable to use speech and/or handwriting to meet their daily communication needs. These individuals require the services of a speech-language pathologist who specializes in AAC.

Our Clinic

Our AAC Clinic assesses and supports children with spoken and written communication challenges requiring different or additional ways of communicating. For example, computer supports such as special keyboards, switches and learning software and/ or various electronic devices that have voice output or picture/word/alphabet displays.

The mission of the clinic is to develop family-centered solutions based on current best practices to meet the child’s AAC needs.


  • Comprehensive assessment
  • Equipment prescriptions
  • Equipment training and support
  • Promote greater awareness of AAC for the general public


Physician referrals to the WCEC - AAC Clinic can be initiated by contacting Karen Coulter.

Phone: (502) 588-8522
Fax: (502) 588-0721

U of L Pediatrics
571 South Floyd Street, Suite 100
Louisville, Kentucky 40202 - 3828

Additional Links

  • The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association The governing body of SLPs and Audiologist. Division 12 is the AAC special interest group. They have a discussion board.
  • AAC Institute Provides education resources, research and general information.
  • Center for Excellence in Augmented Communication (CEAC) University at Buffalo's website provides news and event information relevant to the AAC community, including technology news & reviews, bug reports, software resources and editorials.
  • Closing the Gap Forums on various topics. They have an online, searchable version of their Resource Directory for computer-related products for people with special needs. They also have an online archive of articles from the Gap newsletter
  • Georgia Project for Assistive Technology Numerous resources to assist teachers and family members. AAC resources include informational documents, Power Point presentations, online videos, and web links. Search the Assistive Technology Resource Charts.
  • International Society of AAC ISAAC's vision: that AAC will be recognized, valued and used throughout the world. They do this by organizing events in their country or region, including conferences, workshops, newsletters and education programs. They also work to influence policies affecting people who communicate with little or no speech.
  • The Kentucky Assistive Technology Act Program (KATS Network) serves Kentucky residents of all ages with disabilities of all types, their families, employers and employment service providers, educators, health care and social service providers, and others seeking information about assistive technology (AT) and accessible information technology
  • Linda Burkhart's site Numerous free downloads, links to other websites.
  • RERC – AAC Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Communication Enhancement
  • RESNA Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America. A professional society for individuals and organizations interested in technology and disability.
  • YAACK An easy and practical web site with information and guidance about AAC for young children, their parents, and teachers.