Wednesday, November 21, 2007

AAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Until recently, people with complex communication needs have had no access to professional interpreters. The Swedish Speech Interpretation Service (SSIS) is attempting to address this problem. This qualitative study reports on how 12 persons with aphasia experienced the services of a professional interpreter from the SSIS. The results are presented in two themes: (a) The purpose of using an interpreter, which addresses issues relating to autonomy, privacy, and burden on family members; and (b) perceptions of quality of service, which addresses issues relating to the skills and professionalism of and accessibility to interpreters. Results highlight the ongoing need for the SSIS and its importance to the participants. The professional interpreter as an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) “tool” that could be used to enhance the participation of people with aphasia in the community-at-large, is also discussed; as is whether relatives and other non-professionals or professional interpreters should interpret for people with