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ISAAC 2010 Extended Abstracts © 2010, International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication ISBN 978-0-9684186-9-7

ISAAC 2010 Printed on Fri 3 September 10 at 10:53:40

Paper ref. P116

Speaker Ms Miryam Pelosi


Authors Type: Theme Poster PresentationRESEA


Final paper:

Canada has given many important contributions to the field of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). Blissymbolics was first used in 1971 as a way to enhance communication of children with severe physical disabilities at the Ontario Crippled Children’s Centre (currently called Bloorview Kids Rehab) in Toronto. In 1975, AAC was implemented in clinicalsetting. In 1983, the International Society of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) was created. These and many more accomplishments promoted the dissemination of AAC in the world. Brazil is no different from many other countries that has been benefiting from the Canadian AAC experience. This research paper presents a summary of the path that AAC took in Brazil (primarily in Rio deJaneiro); reports on current educational and clinical aspects of AAC; and explores option for future direction based on AAC policies in Ontario, Canada. Canada has often been present in the history of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) in Brazil. It started in the late 70’s when Blissymbol was introduced at the Educational Association Quero-Quero, in São Paulo, Brazil (Nunes, 2007).It was then enhanced when in 1980, Nadia Browning (originally from Rio de Janeiro) became the first official Blissymbol trainer in Brazil and started training professionals and families all around the country. The spreading of information takes a long time. For many years the work of the AAC was being done by small group of professionals working in clinics and rehabilitation centers in major citiesof the country. It was only in the late 80's, that AAC emerged as a topic of study in a Post-Graduate Education of the State University of Rio de Janeiro. In 1995, started many researches on augmentative and alternative communication in the Post-Graduate Education of the State University of Rio de Janeiro, associated with the Research Group for Alternative Communication. Since then, there aremany studies in AAC: ten projects, 20 master's dissertations and doctoral theses have been oriented, and one postdoctoral on the topic of AAC. (Nunes, 2009). Recent research on scientific production in Alternative Communication in Brazil identified a total of 45 studies of post-graduate degree in Alternative Communication from 1987 to 2008, eight of PhD and 37 Masters. University of Rio de JaneiroState is now the Brazilian University with the largest number of studies in AAC (Manzini, 2009). Despite the development of research in Alternative Communication raises Rio de Janeiro to a place of prominence, the services of Alternative Communication in the community are scars. Research carried out by Pelosi (2008) revealed that the municipal health clinics in Rio de Janeiro offers no alternativecommunication services, and that the occupational therapists, regardless of their experience and specialized training in various areas, have no knowledge of Alternative Communication. The need for more formal AAC course in University and College has also been identified by many researches (Koul & Lloyd, 1994; Ratcliff, Cumley, Mathy, Fox & Romski, 2000). Canadians have been exploring alternativeways of teaching AAC and creating online AAC courses and Virtual Network. According to AAC in the schools of Rio de Janeiro, Pelosi (2008) indicated that half of the resource teachers (itinerant teachers) surveyed used Alternative Communication as a resource to their work. The itinerant teachers, agents of special education, followed up an average of 16 children with special needs included in...
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