Most of us love to socialize with people, especially family and friends. We love to go to parties, whether it be a wedding, school reunion or to celebrate a birthday. At a social gathering, there’s one common thing that everyone does, which is communication. Without that, there’s no meaning or purpose to the event. So, communication between people is an essential element.
Some people will have one question: how does a non-verbal person share their thoughts and opinions when attending such an event? Well, AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) is a massive help with this, it enables the non-verbal person to express themselves in their way. This speech generating technology can unlock their voice. It is such a powerful tool!
Now, let’s talk about the communication partner that the AAC user is communicating with. The first thing that the communication partner needs to do is wait until the AAC user finishes typing their message. That’s because if you keep the conversion going, the AAC user falls behind the discussion and feels left out.
Another example is that people often want to touch or lean on the device. They don’t mean to cause any problems by doing this, but it is not a good idea. The user should let them know using their device that this is not helpful, and it’s all good. Why? Well, the device could be damaged, it could come off the mount and fall, and it is also a bit of an invasion of the AAC user’s personal space. Do you want someone to touch you without any warning? It’s good to respect the device as a voicebox, not as a machine. These kinds of devices are pretty expensive and need to be treated with tender loving care.
If you see an AAC user at a party, go ahead and engage with them. They want you to see them as a regular person and they want to have a meaningful conversion. It’s also good practice for you to interact with someone who uses another way to speak. Presume the potential of someone who communicates differently. Also, be mindful of your body language. Be energetic in the conversion, like you’re chatting with your best friend. Also be careful when you have a drink or food in your hands when the AAC device is nearby. If you see me around, come up and say hi! I would love to have a chat with you!