No tech AAC is a form of communication using no materials other than one's body. Find more examples and implications in this post.

No Tech AAC Examples

  • Nodding head, shaking head
  • Blinking eyes, closing eyes, looking up and/or down with eyes
  • Thumbs up, thumbs down
  • Waving
  • Turning head to left or right
  • Shaking hand
  • Pointing with finger/hand
  • Moving/kicking legs
  • Clapping hands, snapping fingers

Important note: this is not a list of ALL the "no tech" AAC options available; there may be, and most likely are, other forms of "no tech" AAC that are also effective and purposeful.

No Tech AAC: Defining the term

These movements are considered no tech AAC because they have an explicit communicative purpose, which are known to both the individual and their communication partners (e.g. those they communicate with on a regular basis). For example, if someone turns their head to the left to indicate “yes” and to the right to indicate “no,” this is understood by them and their communication partners. This is something that needs to be established before they actually attempt to use it in a functional way. The individual should consistently be able to accurately turn their head to the left or right to indicate “yes” or “no.” Typically, we would say that they should be able to do this at least nine out of ten times to be considered a reliable form of communication.

No Tech AAC: Where/When to Use It

A no tech AAC system may be established for something as simple as watching television. The individual may wave their hand to indicate they want something changed, and then the communication partner can ask if they need a volume adjustment, the channel changed, or something else. The individual may use another “no tech” AAC system, e.g. thumbs up/thumbs down to indicate yes/no, or maybe they have a list of TV shows they can point to in order to indicate what they would like to watch.

No Tech AAC: Additional Considerations

No tech AAC systems often exist as part of a greater system of communication, i.e., an individual who uses a no tech AAC system may also be able to speak or make functional sounds (e.g. verbal approximations), and/or they use a higher tech system of AAC as well.  

For more information about other types of AAC devices, check out our posts about low tech, mid tech, and high tech AAC, along with more general information and resources about AAC.

AAC Resources

Additional AAC Resources

  1. How to Write AAC Goals
  2. AAC Group Games and Activities
  3. Core Word of the Week Activities
  4. Comprehensive AAC Goal Bank
Write all types of unique and efficient AAC goals with this resource!

Citations/further resources