The Power of Low Tech Communication Supports

When people think of AAC, their minds often jump immediately to high tech speech generating devices.  Low tech communication baords are equally as important. Here are some reasons:

  • Some children do well with low tech, and use these boards to supplement verbal speech.
  • When children are just starting out on their AAC journey, it is great to introduce low tech boards for the family to implement, and so children can learn a system while going through the process for a speech generating device
  • Speech generating devices are not enough alone.  Low tech back-ups are essential if a device is not charged, if the device cannot be used outside due to glare, if the child is around water.
  • Communication partners can also use low tech boards to model, as the child uses their high tech systems.


There are many paper based communication boards accessible on the web.  Here is a list of resources for robust, paper based communication boards:

Tanya Keller

Meet Tanya, our pediatric speech language pathologist and AAC specialist. Tanya moved from Boston to San Diego. She earned her Master's degree from Emerson College in Boston, in Communication Disorders in 2004 and a second master's degree in Assistive Technology from Simmons College in Boston, in 2012. Tanya has provided speech and language services for children who have complex communication needs, using low and/or high tech augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) with varying diagnoses. Tanya has been mentored by experts in Rett Syndrome and complex communication needs. She is PODD trained and attends the yearly assistive technology conferences. She has experience using a variety of AAC devices and working with alternative access, including eye gaze and switch use. In her free time, Tanya enjoys exploring San Diego, going to the beach and spending time with her dog.

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