REKNEW Director's Welcome

Director's Welcome

In 1983, an international organization was founded to address the complex communication needs of people who cannot rely on speech or writing as their primary means of expression. The field was called Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). As AAC specialists, we explore ways that people can interact with others who rely on computers, books, gestures and signs, speech and eye gaze, speech generating devices, and communication boards. We believe that everyone CAN communicate and that everyone DOES communicate. It is our mission to research ways that individuals can interact functionally and successfully in their daily environments using many different means of expression.

AAC specialists come from many fields. We are speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, educators, psychologists, engineers, family members, physicians and nurses, manufacturers and developers, and people with disabilities. Initially, AAC specialists put most of their clinical research attention on the needs of adults with cerebral palsy and children with developmental disabilities. Over the years, the group of individuals who benefit from communication supports has expanded. We have learned that everyone with complex communication needs can benefit from AAC.

Here, in the REKNEW research group, we address the complex communication needs of adults with acquired disabilities and neurodegenerative diseases. REKNEW stands for Reclaiming the Expressive Knowledge in Elders With-. We work on many different REKNEW projects, targeting different adult groups and communication supports. Our approach is based on a philosophy of Participatory Action Research: we believe that individuals with complex communication needs should be part of our research endeavors, from the initial questions posed in a study to the dissemination of research results.

We invite you to explore our website and examine our different clinical research projects. We would be happy to discuss our work with you, whether you are interested in participating in a study, supporting us, learning about our recent publications or knowledge translation activities, or just finding out more about communication supports for adults.