AAC FAQs

AAC stands for augmentative and alternative communication. An AAC device produces electronic voice output, giving individuals who can’t use their voice to talk a way to communicate.
AAC devices produce electronic voice output, allowing children and adults who can’t use their voice to talk to communicate. Children learn to use the device via a specialized language system called Unity or other language system best suited to meeting their communication needs.
A language system is how letters, words, phrases, and sentences are organized in the device’s communication software. Some language systems rely heavily on the alphabet for communication; these systems typically are used by individuals who can spell their thoughts.

Other systems represent words and phrases with symbols, pictures or icons because many children are able to communicate before they are able to read and spell. Also, as vocabulary increases, combining symbols for words allows for more vocabulary with fewer keystrokes.
While there is certainly room in a parent or caregiver’s teaching arsenal to include an iPad/app configuration, in many instances it cannot take the place of a dedicated AAC device.

First, AAC devices are built to withstand extreme use, remaining stable and functional despite being subject to numerous stresses.

Second, iPads have limited functionality for people who have any degree of fine motor difficulty. Dedicated AAC devices are able to be adapted for people who need help touching the device, or who can’t touch it at all and need options including eye gazing, head pointing and switches.

Third, many children who are starting off using AAC benefit from a dedicated communication system that doesn’t have the additional functionality of an iPad. Having a device that also plays videos and games can be an obstacle in learning language.

Finally, communication apps often have web-based support, but not the benefit of a live person on the ground who can help with selecting a device and provide support after that system is in place.

In the end, the right solution is one based on the user’s unique set of needs. Your PRC Consultant can help you navigate your options and choose the right one.
The first step to obtaining a device is to schedule an evaluation with a speech language pathologist (SLP). During that evaluation, the SLP will determine if your child would benefit from an AAC device, and what type of system would be best. If an AAC device is recommended, you or the SLP can contact a PRC consultant to help you select the right device, language and any necessary accessories for maximum success.

If funding the device is through Medicaid, Medicare or private insurance, then PRC’s funding department will help you navigate documentation and other requirements.
No – our family of Accent devices are designed to withstand even the toughest conditions. They are built to last, and come with our standard 1-year warranty.
The battery life for the Accent 1400 is approximately 18-20 hours. For the Accent 1000, approximately 13-15, while the 800 batteries have an approximate life of 11-13 hours.

Please note: Battery life will vary, based on use and power settings.
We offer a full range of product service and support. Email, call, search our online database or chat with us online – we offer numerous opportunities to answer your questions and provide support.
Absolutely. PRC offers several ways for individuals to trial our devices, including pay-by-the-week rentals and rentals that are paid for by state Medicaid/ Medicare or private insurance.

In fact, many insurance companies actually require that there is a trial period before you make a decision.

After you have an AAC evaluation, talk with your speech-language pathologist and your PRC consultant about how to best obtain a trial device to help you make a decision.
Yes. PRC devices are considered “durable medical equipment” and are covered by Medicare, many state Medicaid systems/Medicaid managed care, and many private insurance companies. PRC’s funding department is staffed with experienced professionals to help you meet your or your loved one’s communications needs.

Visit our Funding page to learn more.
Yes! When you receive your AAC device, it will come to you as a “dedicated” device. Dedicated devices are configured to meet the funding requirements of Medicare, Medicaid and most other funding sources. Dedicated devices do not offer internal or external computer access, MP3 player, reminders, calculators or IR/ECU controls.

An Integrated Feature Pack (IFP) option is available to upgrade a dedicated device to its full capability. Medicare, Medicare and private insurance clients can upgrade to the IFP for $50 after the device is received.

Parent FAQs

PRC offers numerous options for accessing his or her SGD, including eye tracking, head pointing, switches, joystick options, and more.
Not at all! Research has shown that using an AAC device does not stop the development of natural speech. In fact, there is research that supports that AAC has helped to improve natural speech in some instances.
PRC offers numerous opportunities for children and families to learn and grow with their AAC device.

First, it’s important for the team to learn about the AAC device. We have multiple ways to do this, including in-person training, live online training, and online on-demand training. From product training to implementation, there are plenty of opportunities to learn both the nuts and bolts of the device as well as strategies for implementing it with your child.

Second, we offer resources to teach the vocabulary in the device. Our AAC Language Lab offers games, puzzles, lesson plans and more for families, therapists and educators to challenge children and help them develop.

Finally, after the device has been used for a while it’s important to analyze progress. PRC offers Realize Language, an online service that gives parents and professionals powerful ways to monitor, measure, and maximize a child's use of their AAC device. View data collected from the device presented in simple charts, graphs and images, and gain better insight into your child's communication development.
This is a tricky question to answer, because it is different for every child.

It’s important to realize that using an AAC device can be a journey. There will be times when your child is excited to use it and seems to learn new words every day…and then there will likely be periods when there is resistance to using it.

Keep in mind: This is a normal part of learning an AAC device. During both of these times (and all the periods in between!), it’s important that the parents and other members of the team keep modeling vocabulary and communication, show enthusiasm about communication and have the device available for use.
PRC offers a bilingual version of Unity - called Unidad -  our unique and proprietary language system.




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