AAC Voice works to raise awareness of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and to support the social inclusion of people who use AAC to communicate.
AAC methods include sign language, communication boards and books, and a wide range of computer systems. AAC users typically can't talk because of a disability, but they have plenty to say!
People who use AAC to express themselves constantly battle with society's stereotypes. People often assume that AAC users are deaf or that they have an intellectual disability. AAC users are often ignored or treated with disrespect.
Public awareness of speech disabilities is not high. People know what it means to be deaf or blind but they do not know what it means not to be able to speak. Many people don’t know how to interact with AAC users. AAC Voice aims to provide a publicly recognised support network for people who can't speak, and to raise awareness of their needs and abilities.
AAC Voice is a registered charitable organisation based in Sydney, Australia, led by people who use AAC. Membership is open to everyone who is interested in learning about and discussing AAC.
Meet the Team
AAC Voice is an organisation for AAC users run by AAC users and their allies.
Fiona Given is the President of AAC Voice. She is a competent high tech AAC User who uses AAC to perform her role as a part-time general member of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Fiona also has extensive experience in public speaking.
Greg Dean is Vice-President of AAC Voice and an experienced AAC user, who can deliver a presentation using low-tech and/or high tech AAC devices. Greg has completed training as an I-Can V5 Facilitator at Sydney University, Centre for Disability Studies.
Alanna Jinks is a dedicated speech pathologist who has supported children and young people living with complex communication needs to access AAC across metropolitan and rural Western Australia, and now in Sydney. She currently works for Lifestart as Practice Lead in Speech Pathology and is Secretary at AAC Voice.
Louisa has recently completed a Bachelor of Science-Psychology at Macquarie University, and is hoping to begin a Masters of Speech Language Pathology at Sydney University next year. Louisa has worked as a disability support worker for over a year. She is passionate about disability and ensuring everyone's voices are heard.
Craig worked in medical education and communications for The Medical Journal of Australia, then the Health Education and Training Institute (NSW Health) and finally for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. He now works as a writer and enjoys volunteering as Treasurer for AAC Voice.
Fiona has a Bachelor of Visual Arts in Media with a major in Photo Media, a Masters of Art Administration and a Diploma in Public Policy. She has a wide range of professional experience in both arts and disability policies field. Fiona's biggest passion is disability policy and making society inclusive for people with disabilities.
We are always happy to welcome new members and look forward to meeting other AAC users. See our membership page to find out more.