“Communication is Everything:” The Experiences of Volunteers who use AAC Academic Article uri icon


  • The aim of this study was to explore the impact that using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) had on the experiences of 24 adults with lifelong disabilities who worked as volunteers. This research forms part of a larger qualitative study of volunteering amongst adults who use AAC. Based on in-depth interviews and grounded theory analysis, the results indicate that communication is central to successful volunteering and, in particular, that access to AAC has the potential to provide valuable support to individuals with complex communication needs who want to volunteer. However, a number of barriers must be addressed in order for this potential to be achieved. Strategies for promoting and supporting adults who use AAC and want to volunteer are discussed.


  • Trembath, David
  • Trembath, David
  • Balandin, Susan
  • Stancliffe, Roger J
  • Togher, Leanne

publication date

  • June 2010