Readiness: 7 Days of AACtion

March 18, 2021 by - 1 Comment

Readiness: 7 Days to Take AACtion
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More frequent flooding, longer and deadlier fire seasons, increasingly intense hurricanes and other storms, the threat of earthquakes and tsunamis, powerful tornadoes. We’ve all seen reports that severe weather events are on the rise and too many have had personal experience with this. But, for many of us, the idea of preparing for the possibility of a major event that would disrupt access to AAC supports is ‘the good idea that we never get around to implementing.’ 

How well would the AAC users in your life cope if they had to quickly evacuate to a shelter or even shelter in place without power or water for an extended period of time?

  • Would they have a way to communicate with unfamiliar partners if they became separated from caregivers? Would they have their essentials, such as medication, g-tube or catheter supplies, and adaptive feeding equipment? 
  • Would they be able to access back-ups for their AAC devices should those become lost or inoperable? 
  • Are they able to give others direction for how to charge and operate their assistive technology?
  • Do they have alternate power supplies at the ready?

AAC professionals can play an important role in helping AAC users and their families get prepared for these eventualities. It is, in fact, our responsibility to assist them in making these preparations. But where will you find the time to learn about this, let alone guide them through the process?

Help is on the way. In 2020, the US Society for AAC (USSAAC) developed a 7-day process to guide you through this process.

And it’s all through the phone. After enrolling in this free program, you will be guided through the preparation process via text messaging here in the US, or using WhatsApp in other countries. Once you sign up, you’ll get messages with instructions and links to resources to help you through this process.

PrAACtical AAC friends, there is never enough time for everything we want and need to do in supporting people who use AAC. If you haven’t already done so, this is something to prioritize now before it is too late. We can’t predict when these events will strike our own communities but we know it only a matter of time. 

You can sign up here

It’s free and open to all. 

Let’s do this.

Readiness: 7 Days of AACtion

Image Credit: I. Brekher


You can learn more about USSAAC’s other disaster relief activities here.


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This post was written by Carole Zangari

1 Comment

  • This is such a timely and crucial article, Carole! I never really stopped to consider how disruptive and dangerous severe weather events could be for AAC users. You’ve raised some incredibly important points about the need for preparedness, especially concerning essential supplies and alternate power sources for AAC devices.

    The 7-day action plan by USSAAC sounds like an invaluable resource. The accessibility of the program, being delivered right through text messaging or WhatsApp, makes it so much easier for people to take those necessary steps. No more excuses for putting it off!

    Your message comes across loud and clear: it’s time to prioritize and prepare before it’s too late. I’ll definitely be signing up and sharing this resource with others in the community. Thank you for sounding the alarm on this.

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