Augmentative Communication and Empowerment Supports (ACES)
Augmentative Communication and Empowerment Supports, or "ACES," is a program for young adults who use communication technology (speech generating devices or "SGD") transitioning from school to work, to help develop and refine their communication, including computer access and use for daily living/job skills.
Developed in 1990 at the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University by Diane N. Bryen, PhD, ACES is staffed by communication professionals and other qualified experienced personnel - including mentors who are SGD users themselves.
Participants attend a 10-day learning experience on the main campus of Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, following up to one year of preparation and planning supports.
ACES Sample Schedule
Download sample schedule (Word document)
- Young adults focusing on "transition"
- School to postsecondary education, employment, and independent living
- Current users of a speech-generating device
- Able to use device for basic communication needs
- Variety of devices: 2016 Participants' Systems included:
Dynavox V+ and T-10, iPad with TouchChat, Accent 1400 and 1200, iPad with Proloquo2Go, Novachat
- For ideas of specific communication goals addressed during ACES, download and read the Sample Goals
- Able to maintain focus and energy for 10 full days of learning and work
- Stay in dorms on Temple main campus
- Capable of bringing a tutor to support learning and carryover
- Family member, friend, attendant
Those who volunteer to work at ACES...
ACES volunteer positions are designed with a focus on both learning and mentoring. The program aims to increase the AAC capacity of current or future professionals.
- Volunteers (Aides or Counselors)
- Unique learning experience
- Orientation and background information provided
- Undergraduate and graduate students in Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD), or related fields
- SLP Interns / Enrolled Students (ACES course)
- For credit, clinical, or work experience
- Continuing education, additional AAC experience
- Potential ACT 48 credits or ASHA CEUs
- Special education teachers, SLPs, ATPs, or related fields
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The ACES program does require a tuition payment for each participant. This covers Professional services (therapy and group classes) for 10 days of instruction, as well as room and board for the 11 days—July 18-29—on campus.
**Please note that tuition may be adjusted for changes in curriculum, number of participants, number of meals, or other conditions.**
Funding for the ACES program may be provided through a participant's educational or vocational services (e.g., ODP waiver, OVR), depending on the specific goals of attendance. Please contact ACES staff if you have questions about funding costs, including how ACES may meet a participants' school, work/VR, or waiver service goals/objectives. For additional ideas, please see: ACES 2016—Potential Funding Sources Worksheet (Word document).
Download ACES Frequently Asked Questions - updated (Word document)
Contact: Russell Goldstein, firstname.lastname@example.org, 215-204-9083 or TTY: 215-204-1805.