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“Dominating Interactions”- Identity and AAC- A Review of the Literature

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“Dominating Interactions”- Identity and AAC: A Review of the Literature.
Meredith Allan, Patsie Frawley, Susan Balandin
Identity theory is a complicated area of study, involving how an individual understands themselves and an understanding of who they are and who they want others to see them as; this means understanding the individual’s interactions within a group and the need to feel they belong.

People who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) can identify as a person with a disability and as a person who uses AAC. There is little research that has considered the AAC identity in adults with life-long disability, or how it may “dominate interactions” or impact on negotiation of their identity.

Focus of Presentation

Understanding how people who use AAC negotiate and enact their identity, requires research about both disability identity and the identity of the person who uses AAC. There has been a revolutionary change in language and perceptions about disability over the past three decades that underpins any research about the way disability exists in society and how important issues like identity and stigma are understood and experienced by people with disability.

This presentation will review the literature that focuses on people who use AAC and identity. It will consider how people who use AAC identify themselves. What, if any, stigmas they experience and how these are managed? What aspects of the person who uses AAC identity helps and hinders personal and social interactions? And what impact has social inclusion had on people who use AAC?


Meredith Allan    
Deakin University

Patsie Frawley    
Deakin University

Susan Balandin    
Deakin University


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