Communicative Disorders Program Department of Special Education

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Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Conversation Club for Adults

The AAC Conversation Club began in fall semester, 2005, in response to the requests of young adults who use AAC systems who wanted regular meeting time to talk with each other. In collaboration with the Bridge School Outreach Program, a group was formed as part of the SFSU Communicative Disorders Clinic. Regular Conversation Club members and visitors attend weekly sessions on Thursday mornings to talk about topics selected by members and supported by SFSU CD Students. CD Student Clinicians and Aides provide communication partner support, as needed, to keep the conversation going. Each member of the AAC Conversation Club brings unique interests and stories to share that include sports, movies, jobs, independent living, travel, music, family, activism, politics and more. Ongoing collaboration with the Bridge School Outreach Program and the BCTAC (Bridging Communities Through Augmentative Communication) connects the Conversation Club with a network of adults to raise awareness of AAC. More information about the Bridge School and BCTAC can be found at their website: www.bridgeschool.org.

The AAC Conversation Club is founded on principles of self-determination, where SFSU CD students assist members to voice their own interests, critiques, experiences and responses to each other. Through the weekly sessions, each member has opportunities to use multiple modalities that include a range of strategies in their AAC systems that may include AAC devices, communication boards, photos, gestures, speech, and other means to communicate. The goals for the Conversation Club include the following:

  1. Conversation Club members select topics and practice conversational skills using AAC systems.
  2. SFSU CD Students gain skills to support individuals using AAC systems.
  3. Conversation Club members expand language and communication skills using a full range of AAC systems in a fun setting.
  4. Conversation Club members share current stories, dreams and plans for the future.

Participation in the AAC Storytellers’ Club

AAC Conversation Club members are young adults who use AAC systems that include both low and high-tech modalities who who seek opportunities to expand communication skills. The capacity of the group is six to eight regular members and we are currently full.  We encourage visitors at any time who may be interested in learning more and beginning Conversation Clubs in their own areas.  Please contact Nancy Robinson at nancyr@sfsu.edu for more information.

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