Assistive Technology and Augmentative Communication Referrals

What is Assistive Technology (AT)?

What is Assistive Technology (AT) Services?

ACTS conducts comprehensive Assistive Technology (AT) Assessments and services for individuals who require assistive technology in order to perform a task (e.g. motor aspect of writing, composing written material, reading, math, learning and oraganization) more easily or efficiently in the least restrictive environment as independently as possible. If you are interested in obtaining an Assistive Technology Evaluation, or Assistive Technology Services please download the Assistive Technology Student Referral form and instructions.

What is Augmentative Communication (AAC)?

“AAC is, foremost, a set of procedures and processes by which an individual’s communication skills (i.e., production as well as comprehension) can be maximized for functional and effective communication. It involves supplementing or replacing natural speech and/or writing with aided (e.g., picture communication symbols, line drawings, Blissymbols, and tangible objects) and/or unaided symbols (e.g., manual signs, gestures, and finger spelling). Whereas aided symbols require some type of transmission device, unaided symbols require only the body to produce.

AAC also refers to the field or area of clinical, educational, and research practice to improve, temporarily or permanently, the communication skills of individuals with little or no functional speech and/or writing”. (ASHA, 2002 Desk Reference Vol. 3).

“AAC interventions should always be multi-modal in nature; that is, they should utilize the individual’s full communication capabilities, including any residual speech or vocalizations, gestures, signs and aided communication”. (ASHA, 1991 Report: Augmentative and Alternative Communication, ASHA, 33 (Suppl.5), 9-12).

ACTS serves infants, toddlers, children, and adults who have a medical diagnosis, which severely limits speech or the prognosis for speech development. In addition to evaluating for a medically-based Speech Generating Device ACTS will also evaluate needs for unaided, low, and light/supplementary technology communication systems which can be used in conjunction with a high technology speech generating device (SGD) to meet the full range of communication needs across settings and partners. Unaided communication includes vocal/verbal nonverbal behavior such as gestures, proxemics, facial expression, and eye gaze.  Low technology (or non-technology) communication systems are recommended for use in situations in which the speech-generating device is not accessible or feasible. Finally, light or supplementary technology is considered for specific purposes based on the needs assessment.

The AAC referral packets vary based on the age level of the client. For infants and toddlers (0-3) please download the Infants/Toddlers AAC Referral packet. For school-aged children (3-22 years) please download the School-Aged AAC Referral packet. For school-aged children with autism, please download the School-Aged Autism Referral packet. Finally for adults, please download the Adult AAC Referral packet.

ACTS provides Intervention (Direct and Indirect AAC Services), and Consultation throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Outside of the Bay Area, we offer Teleconsultation, Webinars, and to on-site workshops and training for professionals.  If you are interested in obtaining services from ACTS please contact the ACTS office via phone, or e-mail.

Send completed AAC and AT referral and release of information forms along with other relevant reports to the ACTS office at:


Dr. Marilyn J. Buzolich, Director and Administrator
350 Santa Ana Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94127
(415) 333-7739 (office)

After ACTS receives the referral form and documents, the administrator will send you additional information to assist you in securing funding for services. If possible, records and referral forms can be sent electronically through a HIPAA secure transmission. School districts who have SEIS or another secure electronic IEP system can invite ACTS to have access to a student’s records. This is an alternative to sending paper records with the referral and release form.

Referral Packet Downloads:

Infant / Toddler AAC
Referral packet


School Aged Children
AAC Referral packet


School Aged Autism
AAC Referral packet


School Aged Children
AT Referral packet


Adults AAC Referral packet

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