AAC Counts! How many strong are we?

one hand holding a pen placed on a number chart, the other hand on a calculatorDid you know that federal and state governments in the United States do not regularly count people with speech disabilities, even though they count people with the other two main types of communication disabilities -- hearing and vision?

It is very difficult to design and measure the success of policies and programs when you don't have accurate data. With a generous grant from California-focused Ability Central, CommunicationFIRST is working in 2022 with the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) to lay the groundwork to begin to fix this serious data inequity.

The AAC Counts Project will:

  1. Catalogue existing demographic data on the number, characteristics, and unmet needs of Californians and others who require AAC; 
  2. Analyze how existing data can be used and improved to better understand and meet their needs; 
  3. If possible, produce a high-level demographic profile from existing data; and 
  4. Produce recommendations and options for improving the quality of such data so that it can help inform and enhance policies and programs. 

We count the things we care about in society. 

The AAC Counts Project is coordinated by autistic AAC user Alyssa Hillary Zisk, PhD, and is advised by a diverse Thought Leader Panel with personal and professional experience in this field. You can read more about the AAC Counts Project here: https://communicationfirst.org/aac-counts/