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Transition

Multi-Modal Communication

Multi-Modal Communication

What It Is

EVERYTHING an individual uses to communicate or enhance communication. Different strategies may be needed for different situations and communication partners. Strategies and tools may be combined to meet a wide variety of communication functions.

What It's Not

Just a high-tech speech generating device or any other single strategy.

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How It Works

We all use a variety of means to communicate! It is natural to use a variety of communication strategies for self-expression. The same is true with AAC…ALL tools and techniques are relevant!

“AAC interventions should always be multi-modal in nature; that is, they should utilize the individual’s full communication capabilities, including any residual speech or vocalizations, gestures, signs, and aided communication.”

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (1991). Report: Augmentative and Alternative Communication, ASHA, 33 (Suppl. 5), 9-12.

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Here are a variety of communication strategies that may be combined in a multi-modal repertoire.

Teaching & Communication Strategies


Keep in mind that the goal of communication is the first priority. The tool or strategy used serves the purpose of meeting the goal. It’s the Goal! Not the Tool!

First, think about the individual and the situation…then consider which tool can improve communication! As students gain more experience using their repertoire of tools and strategies, they should also be learning how to determine which to use in any given situation.

Elisabeth uses her head nods, her Vanguard, and her communication boards to meet and greet a visiting friend of The Bridge School.

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