AAC Awareness Month 2019



AAC Awareness Month 2019


AAC Awareness Month, October 2019, #AACaware19

ISAAC members are planning events and activities during October that bring to life the visions of people who use AAC. Our theme for this year is Communication Beyond Borders. Here’s how you can join in:

  • Find an ISAAC Chapter near you and ask how you can participate
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @isaac.aac for updates from the ISAAC community

ISAAC is pleased to release a series of AAC awareness videos for International AAC Awareness Month 2019. Thanks to Lateef McLeod, Chair of the ISAAC LEAD Committee, for recording the theme message.

We’re pleased to present the 4th in our series of AAC awareness videos:

This video features an excerpt from, “Yolŋu families with MJD Prepare for a Different Future,” submitted to the ISAAC 2018 Short Film Festival. AAC is making a difference for Aboriginal Australians in the Northern Territory who are at risk of MJD, a rare inherited neurological disorder. This community has the highest incidence rate of MJD in the world.

Released on Week 3 of AAC Awareness Month 2019, the video below features an excerpt from “Bliss iBand,” one of the Top Ten Finalists in the ISAAC 2018 Short Film Festival. You can view the full video here

The above video is based on “Including Me: Ben’s Story,” one of the Top Ten Finalists in the ISAAC 2018 Short Film Festival, which you will find posted here

Much appreciation to the ISAAC 2020 Conference Team for providing the opening video clip for the above message. Watch the full video here.

Thank you for using the hashtag #AACaware19 on Twitter and Facebook!

Please send your AAC Awareness stories to Lateef McLeod at AACaware19@isaac-online.org and we will post them on this page!


An AAC Literacy Intensive at Currumbin Community Special School, Queensland, featured a Silent Morning Tea on October 3rd in honour of AAC Awareness Month.  Run by Jane Farrall and Sally Clendon. Details here.


News from ISAAC-Canada:  This year in Canada, October 12th was designated as 2019 AAC Awareness Day.


On October 15th: This event, conducted in Spanish, took place in connection with AAC Awareness Month.

– submitted by Felipe Puerta Jaramillo, on behalf of the ALIFISAN Foundation


On October 7-8:  ISAAC Denmark marked its 30th anniversary and at the same time celebrated AAC Awareness Month with a two-day seminar.

Gloria Soto, Guest Speaker, is a Professor in the Department of Special Education, San Francisco State University. On the first day, the theme was bilingualism and AAC, with contributions from Swedish linguist Lorna Bartram on the same subject. On the second day, Gloria co-presented with Mascha Legel from the Netherlands, discussing how to support children who use AAC to tell personal stories that are an important part of identity creation.

For a complete summary of activities for International AAC Awareness Month in Denmark (as submitted for the December issue of The ISAAC Communicator), please click here.

submitted by Birgitte Brandt

French-Speaking Countries and Regions

ISAAC-Francophone members are hosting many events and activities during AAC Awareness Month — especially many activities in libraries! Click here for a details.

Follow us on our new Facebook group : Octobre : mois de la Communication Alternative et Améliorée CAA

submitted by Isabelle Guillot 


For AAC Awareness Month, speech therapist Deborah Yong from SPD’s Specialised Assistive Technology Centre shares her experiences in an interview with senior communications and outreach executive Melissa Tan.

Also from SPD, this wonderful video:  “Eric’s AAC Journey.”


USSAAC created a list of its plans, activities and ideas to share for AAC Awareness Month 2019. More resources are posted here. A free webinar, My Story of How Getting a Speech Device Changed My Life, with presenter Todd Hutchinson, was held on October 16th. Find out more here.

An AAC Awareness Week was organized at the Knock Knock Children’s Museum in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Co-Directors Dr. Daphne Hartzheim and Shannon Farho, of the AAC Lab in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at Louisiana State University, partnered with the Louisiana Accessible Education Materials (LA AEM) Team, consisting of Katie Sample, Josh Miller, and Justin Sims. We recruited undergraduate and graduate students to help out. Our team spent all day Sunday, October 13th at the museum communicating with high-tech AAC devices with touch and eye gaze access. Communication boards and symbols were hung throughout the museum to enhance symbol communication. Devices were programmed with vocabulary that was necessary for the different centers at the museum. Our team wore capes that read “Communication is my Superpower! What’s yours?”

We spoke with children and adults about AAC and what it is, we let them touch the devices, challenged them to build sentences with symbols, made them laugh with funny phrases and let them experience eye gaze access. The reactions from the visitors of the museum varied from being a little suspicious and shy, to being curious and eager to try. But overall we found them to be excited about learning about alternative ways to communicate and they were amazed with the possibilities that exist.

Katie Sample from the LA AEM Team held an AAC story time with a Halloween themed book. Children were involved by learning signs and participating with symbols.

On Tuesday (October 15th, 2019), Wednesday (October 16th, 2019), and Thursday (October 17th, 2019), we returned to the museum with volunteers and continued to spread awareness among the visitors.

We received positive feedback from museum visitors, volunteers, staff, and students. This was our first year of AAC Awareness activities and we learned a lot for the future. We are excited to continue the partnership in the coming years. “Geaux” LSU! “Geaux” AAC!



submitted by Daphne Hartzheim


Emerson Hospital, Massachusetts, shared their video, “Living with a Motor Speech Disorder,” with us. The video is posted on their Facebook page for AAC Awareness Month, to shine a light on the impact AAC can have on the lives of people with a communication disability.

submitted by Olivia Craigen