What is Assistive Technology (AT)?
• AT is “…any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.”
•AT services are “any service that directly assists the individual with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an AT device.” This includes consultation, assessment, selection, customization, application, and maintenance of a device. It also includes training and technical assistance.
ACTS conducts comprehensive assistive technology (AT) Assessments and consultations for individuals who require assistive technology in order to perform a skill (read, write, communication etc.) more easily or efficiently in the least restrictive environment or with less personal assistance.
If you are interested in obtaining an Assistive Technology Evaluation, or Consultation, please download the Assistive Technology Referral form and instructions.
What is Augmentative Communication (AAC)?
•Augmentative/alternative communication is a subset of assistive technology. AAC is related to devices and services that compensate (either temporarily or permanently) for severe expressive communication disorders (i.e. the severely speech-language and writing impaired). It is appropriate for:
•anyone who is not able to communicate effectively with speech.
•anyone who is partially able to communicate with speech (has speech but is not understood by most listeners).
•anyone who is having difficulty understanding and using oral language.
ACTS serves infants, toddlers, children, and adults who have a medical diagnosis, which severely limits speech or the prognosis for speech development. In addition to evaluating for a speech device prescription (CPT Code #92607) ACTS will also evaluate needs for unaided, low, and light technology communication systems which can be used in conjunction with a speech generating device (SGD) to meet the full range of communication needs across settings and partners. Unaided communication includes vocal/verbal nonverbal behavior such as gestures, proxemics, facial expression, and eye gaze. Low technology (or non-technology) communication systems are recommended for use in situations in which the speech-generating device is not accessible or feasible. Finally, light technology is considered for specific purposes based on the needs assessment.
The AAC referral packets vary based on the age level of the client. For infants and toddlers (0-3) please download the Infants/Toddlers AAC Referral packet. For school-aged children (3-22 years) please download the School-Aged AAC Referral packet. For school-aged children (3-22 years) with primary diagnosis of Autism or any condition on the Autism Spectrum please download the School-Aged Autism AAC Referral packet. Finally for adults, please download the Adult AAC Referral packet. After ACTS receives the referral form and documents, and determines funding for services, you will be contacted to schedule an appointment.
ACTS provides Intervention, and Consultation throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. ACTS can be contracted to provide webinars on a variety of topics (Medically based speech generating device evaluation, AAC/AT evaluation in the educational setting, AAC Intervention in the Schools, Communication Sampling and Analysis, and a wide range of other topics). ACTS offers an annual Clinicial Fellowship AAC Mentorship Program for new graduates with a Masters Degree in Speech/Langauge Pathology who have taken a course in AAC as part of their graduate training. If you are interested in obtaining services from ACTS (Direct services, Consulation, Program Development, Workshops, Mentorship), please contact the ACTS office via phone, or e-mail.
Send completed AAC and AT referral forms along with relevant documents/reports to the ACTS office at:
Dr. Marilyn J. Buzolich, Director
350 Santa Ana Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94127
(415) 333-7739 (office)
(4150 333-3456 (fax)