For students with speech and language impairments, the major types of assistive technology can be divided into two areas. First, students with speech and language impairments have an array of computer software packages available to develop their speech and language skills. An example is First Words, a language program that has a number of applications for teaching those who are developing or reacquiring language functions. The program uses graphic presentations combined with synthesized speech to teach high-frequency nouns, and is one of many software packages that can help develop both speech and language.
Secondly, students with speech and language impairments may use augmentative or alternative communication (AAC). AAC is the use of symbols, aids, strategies and techniques to enhance the communication process. This includes sign language and various communication boards, both manual and electronic, that are used by individuals with impaired oral motor skills.
The most basic AAC devices are non-electronic communication boards. The boards usually are limited to a number of choices (two to four). The choices can be represented by real items, pictures of items, and symbols for items (including print). The objective of the communication board is to have the student make a choice, typically of food or activity.