Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) assessment is provided to determine and recommend methods, devices, aids, techniques, symbols, and/or strategies to represent and/or augment spoken and/or written language in ways that optimize communication. The goal of an AAC assessment is to determine a system that will optimize communication for the user. AAC assessment is an ongoing process; ongoing evaluation and decision-making are required, even after an AAC system has been selected.
A comprehensive AAC assessment requires educational teams to integrate a wide range of information to make appropriate recommendations regarding the particular AAC system to be implemented (Beukelman & Mirenda, 2005).
The educational team may use a range of assessment tools in order to identify the most appropriate AAC systems to trial. Assessment should be dynamic and should include a comprehensive analysis of language (expression and comprehension), literacy, motor, and sensory abilities as well as evaluation of current and future participation needs across a range of communication environments. The educational team may use observational checklists along with more formal assessment tools in order to gather and collate this information.