Aided Communication in Everyday Interaction

Norén, Samuelsson and Plejert (EDITORS)
SKU: J002
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ISBN: 978-1-907826-11-5

Release Date: 07/06/2013


This book argues for the importance of the participants' perspective within both theory and practice on the function of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) aids in everyday talk-in-interaction. Interactional approaches such as Conversation Analysis (CA) and Topical episode analysis are used to analyze and demonstrate the way participants make sense and display their understanding of AAC-mediated action. The book documents various practices and methods of the everyday use of AAC which can be applied clinically when establishing evidence-based assessment and intervention procedures.

Aided Communication in Everyday Interaction

  • bridges the gap between research and clinical practice
  • analyzes and explains the use of AAC aids
  • uses video recordings and transcriptions of naturally occurring, everyday talk-in-interacton
  • demonstrates how the communicative context of the user's home is a powerful environment for learning and developing AAC use



Niklas Norén gained his PhD in Language and Culture from Linköping University in 2007, and initiated the work with this book as a Post-Doctorial Fellow in Speech and Language Pathology at Uppsala University, Sweden, during 2010-2011. Norén is currently senior lecturer in education at the Department of Education, Uppsala University.

Christina Samuelsson gained her PhD in 2004 in Speech and Language Pathology from Lund University, and is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University. She is a reviewer for the International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology and was previously Editor-in-Chief of Logopednytt.

Charlotta Plejert gained her PhD in English with a linguistic specialization in 2004, and is currently Senior Lecturer in the Department of Culture and Communication, Linköping University. She is a reviewer for the International Journal of Bilingualism, and System: International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics.


...This book brings together a selection of research that focuses upon the use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) with individuals in their everday interactions and settings. It begins with its editors putting forward the argument that a shifting focus and interest towards research that makes use of qualitative methodologies and theoretical paradigms, including the use of participatory frameworks in the collection and examination of data, is helping to bring about new understandings into the field of AAC and its use. In contrast to merely focusing upon the description of functions and patterns of communication in staged activity and in quantitative terms, they suggest that a qualitative examination of the interaction of individuals in their familiar surroundings presents new opportunities for interpretation and analysis.

The subsequent chapters focus upon research that examines the communication and interaction of an AAC user with others in their own everday lives. A range of ages, including children as well as adults, are involved and their respective use of AAC (both low and high technology) is examined. Many of the chapters make use of Conversation Analysis as a tool for analysis but some include greater attention to the multimodality of communication. The emphasis upon natural settings captures the exchange between peers and draws attention to a range of considerations including the proficiencies and influences of others involved in each interaction. Generally, authors focus their analysis and discussion upon the competences of AAC users and examine the positive features of their communication rather than emphasise deficiency. Their interpretation includes a critical analysis of AAC use and draws attention to its different forms, diversity in age of user and their needs.

In summary, the tone of the book sustains the argument that much can be learned from enquiry-based approaches to research and particularly those that take place within the user's own environment. It emphasizes that a qualitative approach, with emphasis upon participatory methodologies, not only provides a valuable addition to the evidence base of AAC use, but can equally be used to contribute and influence assessment and intervention in both AAC practice and development.

This book will be of interest to anyone involved in the use of AAC, both academically and in practice, but also to those with a much wider interest in the examination of conversation and communicative practices.

Review: Journal of Assistive Technologies Volume 9 Number 1 2015; p. 68; DOI: 10.1108/JAT-12-2014-0033

Reviewed by Cheryl Dobbs, King's College London, London, UK


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