To inform AAC interventions today, while laying groundwork for AAC intervention tomorrow, the AAC Translation Lab aims to support AAC access across the lifespan by:

Brain-Computer Interface setup in AAC Translation Lab

Brain-Computer Interface and High-Tech AAC Assessment Guidelines
Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) may provide a direct link between an individual's neurological activity and a communicational device. However, similar to existing augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices, an individual's unique profile and preferences may impact communication outcomes. Therefore, we are exploring factors and stakeholder (e.g., AAC professionals, individuals who use AAC and their families) preferences, which may influence an individual's satisfaction and performance with BCI devices. Furthermore, we are exploring assessment and intervention guidelines for commercially available AAC devices (e.g., eye gaze, switches) to help inform the development of strengths-based assessment frameworks across different AAC access techniques.

AAC visual display showing alphabet, numbers and frequently used keyboard keys

AAC Interface Design
Even small changes to an AAC device's visual display may impact communication outcomes (Light, Wilkinson, Thiessen, Beukelman, & Fager, 2019). Therefore, the AACT Lab is investigating principles that may inform display design for both commercially available AAC access methods (e.g., eye gaze, switch scanning) and BCI-accessed AAC devices.

student clinician works with a client from the Barkley Speech Language and Hearing Clinic who uses an AAC device

AAC Training
Currently, the lab is evaluating the training needs of professionals involved in AAC (e.g., speech-language pathologists, special educators), along with how multidisciplinary collaborations may seek to support effective AAC service delivery.