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Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

by Longo,Robert Edward last modified Oct 05, 2011 11:37 AM

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) 852-1420
Fax: (502) 852-7886
Mail: WCEC - AAC

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


Karen Coulter

Karen Coulter Ph.D, CCC-SLP, A.T.P.

Karen is a 2011 graduate from U of L. She specializes in AAC. Karen provides Augmentative and Alternative Communication assessments, intervention and education/training. Karen also engages in AAC research. She has expertise in the development of Augmentative/Alternative Communication systems and has had formal training in the delivery of the Picture Exchange Communication System. Karen has expertise working with individuals with various diagnoses including medically fragile, mental retardation, autism spectrum disorders and global developmental delay.

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