Augmentative Communication and Empowerment Supports (ACES)

Next ACES session dates announced: July 23 - August 3, 2018

Download a printable ACES recruitment flyer (PDF)

What is "ACES"?

Photo: ACES instructor and student work with devicesAugmentative 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 2018 Sample Schedule

Download sample schedule (Word document)

Those who participate in ACES as students should be...

  • 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

If you are interested in being an ACES participant, please complete the Participant Interest Application:
ACES Participant Interest Application (Word)

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
    _ Undergraduate
  • Professionals
    - Continuing education, additional AAC experience
    - Potential ACT 48 credits or ASHA CEUs
    - Special education teachers, SLPs, ATPs, or related fields

Adobe Reader for PDFs - get Adobe reader for PDF get Adobe Reader

If you are interested in being a volunteer at ACES, please complete the Volunteer Application:
ACES Volunteer application (Word)


Photo of several ACES students in computer labThe 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 days 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 2018—Potential Funding Sources Worksheet (Word document).

For more information

Download ACES Frequently Asked Questions - updated (Word document)

Contact: Russell Goldstein,, 215-204-9083 or TTY: 215-204-1805.

Institute on Disabilities at Temple University
University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research and Service