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Environmental Barriers and Facilitators in the use of AAC Brazilian Experience: SLP and families’ perspective

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Objective: to understand the assessments of family members and speech and language pathologists (SLP) on the facilitators and barriers of using AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication). Methods: This is a qualitative cross-sectional study approved by the Ethics Committee under reference number 678.814/14. Our sample consisted of 40 participants, 20 SLP (GP), and 20 family members and/or caregivers (GFC) of individuals using AAC. The data were collected through a series of semi-structured interviews that were recorded on video and transcribed for analysis and categorization. Results: the main barriers reported by the GFC were the uses of other means of communication (n=20), the family member acting as the interpreter of the user (n=10) and the lack of comprehension of AAC systems by family members (n=9). The SLP reported issues such as: lack of knowledge on AAC by the family members (n=16), and the belief that speech inhibition is carried out by the family or other professionals (n=12). The facilitators aspects addressed were: family support, reported by family members (n = 13) and SLP (n=18) and the contextualized use of CSA by the families (n=11). Conclusion: The results show that the barriers relate to difficulties in the use of AAC both in social contexts and in the role carried out by the family members. The main caregiver acts as a barrier when he/she attempts to translate the patient’s communication; similarly he/she facilitates the process by adhering to the use of AAC and incentivizing its presence in multiple environments.


Nátali Romano    
UNICAMP - University of Campinas

Regina Chun    
UNICAMP - University of Campinas

Ana Ramos    
UNICAMP - University of Campinas


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