A Comprehensive Augmentative Communication System for an Adult with Brocas Aphasia

Kathryn L. Garrett, David R. Beukelman, Deanna Low-Morrow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


A multimodality augmentative communication system was developed for a 74-year-old man with Brocas aphasia. System development began with an assessment of the subjects communication competencies and needs. Decisions were made regarding which modes of communication could be capitalized on without additional instruction, and which modes could be enhanced via augmentation in order to successfully transmit messages. A multimodal communication system consisting of natural speech, gestures, writing, drawing a first letter spelling alphabet card, a thematic word dictionary, breakdown clues, and control phrases was eventually developed. The tangible components of the system were consolidated into a small portable notebook. Issues regarding instruction in system use, interaction, and vocabulary selection were addressed. Data collected by videotaping interaction with unfamiliar speakers revealed that fewer communication breakdowns were present in the augmented condition than in the unaugmented condition, indicating greater efficiency of message transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-61
Number of pages7
JournalAugmentative and Alternative Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989


  • Aphasia
  • Augmentative Communication
  • Multimodal Communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing


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