In order to improve outcomes for individuals who require AAC, there is an urgent need for research across the full spectrum-from basic research to investigate fundamental language and communication processes, to applied clinical research to test applications of this new knowledge in the real world. To date, there has been a notable lack of basic research in the AAC field to investigate the underlying cognitive, sensory perceptual, linguistic, and motor processes of individuals with complex communication needs. Eye tracking research technology provides a promising method for researchers to investigate some of the visual cognitive processes that underlie interaction via AAC. The eye tracking research technology automatically records the latency, duration, and sequence of visual fixations, providing key information on what elements attract the individual's attention (and which ones do not), for how long, and in what sequence. As illustrated by the papers in this special issue, this information can be used to improve the design of AAC systems, assessments, and interventions to better meet the needs of individuals with developmental and acquired disabilities who require AAC (e.g., individuals with autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities of unknown origin, aphasia).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Speech and Hearing