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OK, So We have AAC: Now What?

Photo courtesy Miss A [image: An iPad screen with the app Speak for Yourself, and a list of animals in the message bar: banana, cookie, cat, dog…”] Miss A teachingunicorn.com Access to AAC—Augmentative and Alternative Communication for people with speech disabilities—is a fundamental human right, but it’s one still that tends to be forgotten and overlooked in many spaces today. And many people are just hearing about AAC, or gaining access to it for the first time. The first few steps in using AAC can feel overwhelming to families and professionals new to this journey, because it is essentially learning a new language. Many people have fears about “doing it right” and “doing it enough.” I promise that you can do AAC. You can do it. You must do it. And it will be worth every step. How? Get excited. It can be really easy for AAC to be seen as…

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Interview: David Niemeijer, Founder & CEO of AssistiveWare

AssistiveWare’s Proloquo2Go is one of the most popular software programs and now apps for people who use AAC — Augmentative and Alternative Communication. They also make the excellent social story app Pictello. David Niemeijer is the founder and CEO of AssistiveWare, and talked with TPGA about the past, present, and future of AssistiveWare and their apps. —- Tell us about AssistiveWare — how it got started, when, and what products you make. AssistiveWare has its roots in 1995 when Giesbert, a friend of mine, had a serious car accident and broke his neck. I developed KeyStrokes, an on-screen keyboard for the Mac so that Giesbert could not only type using a HeadMouse but also access all the keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop (see http://www.assistiveware.com/giesbert.php). Later I released KeyStrokes as freeware but got so many requests for improvements that I decided that if I was to make all those improvements I would…