The Velcro Rule with Jeanne Tuthill

May 23, 2014 by - 35 Comments

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We’re happy to have SLP Jeanne Tuthill back with a brief post on one of our all-time favorite products. Since we have a few folks who are new to AAC, we thought it would be great to review this simple guideline. We’ve known to break a few rules but this one is sacrosanct.


Recently, on PrAACtical AAC, there was a blog post that poked a little fun at fellow practitioners with a tongue-firmly-in-cheek list of ways to determine if you might be an AAC therapist (You Might be an AAC Therapist If…).  I am guilty of far too many items on that list (Hello, my name is Jeanne and I am an AAC therapist…) and I even added a few of my own idiosyncrasies in the comments section – just for good measure!  One of the things I added to the list was:  “You get irrationally upset when someone doesn’t follow the Velcro® Rule.”  My comment led another reader to request clarification of the “Velcro® Rule” and Jane Farrall even suggested that I write up the official Velcro® Rule so that everyone had access to it and could share it with others. 

So, without further ado, I give you The Velcro® Rule…

The Velcro Rule with Jeanne Tuthill

To clarify that a bit further, Velcro® has two sides which can commonly be referred to as “rough” and “soft”.  The soft side of the Velcro® most closely resembles the soft fabric that is used to create Velcro-sensitive surfaces on commercially available visual displays – such as the amazing array of displays that can be purchased from Augmentative Resources, Inc. You can also create your own Velcro-sensitive displays by using “headliner fabric.”  This is the fabric that lines the ceiling of cars and it can be found in most retail fabric stores or at various online sources.  Soft Velcro® (or Velcro® sensitive fabric) is what you need to use for anything that will be considered the SURFACE onto which picture cards/icons will be placed in the environment.  Once you have all those lovely soft Velcro-sensitive SURFACES you need to use the “rough” Velcro® for your icons/picture cards so that all your picture cards will consistently stick to all your surfaces!

Velcro®  is a registered trademark of Velcro Industries B.V.

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This post was written by Carole Zangari


  • DAK says:

    Another tongue in cheek way of remembering the rule: the female (soft side) is on the bottom and the male (hard side) is on top.

  • Jane FARRALL says:

    Brilliant! I love that you turned it into its own blog post so that we share it with all!

  • Carly says:

    People often forget to exain why.

    I assume it’s so that AAC users are less liky to damage themselves on the soft side?