OpenAAC is an initiative to create and encourage open-licensed resources and tools to support AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) users. We believe that AAC users should have flexibility in and control over their communication modalities. It is important for companies to create sustainable business models that can reliably support AAC users, but business practices that interfere with AAC user freedoms such as vendor lock-in are inappropriate.
There is a growing international effort to create open-licensed materials and tools with the goal of communicator autonomy, and we are proud to contribute to this work!
We are parents, therapists, vendors and developers who believe that users should be in control and be able to mix and match to create the experience that works best for them. There are different aspects of the AAC experience that can be improved to make that happen, as listed below. We need your help! Below are the initiatives we are advocating for, including ways that you can help us move forward!
Communicators should have an option for a free, dynamic, flexible AAC system.
Therapists and education teams should be free to create and share classroom materials that use the same symbols available on AAC systems.
Users should be free to export their vocabulary sets if they need to switch to a different AAC system.
Communicators should have access to free, robust, pre-made vocabulary sets that they can import into the system that works best for them.
Teachers and families should have access to free learning resources and ideas for modeling with and supporting communicator learning.
Families and organizations shoud have access to assessment options that can help guide their supports without having to pay for access to helpful assessment tools.
AAC usage data should be available in a vendor-neutral format that can be safely colllected and used for industry research.
Third party companies, web sites and developers should have tools that allow them to make their solutions available to AAC users in a standardized way.
Communicators should have access to a range of free, high-quality voice output options that they can personally identify with.
There are so many great projects around the world that are benefitting from open protocols and standards. Below we have gathered collections of open resources and tools that apply to the AAC community. If you notice we're missing something, please let us know right away!
Our team is small but we have big plans. We can use your help, and it's easier than you think to contribute!