October was observed as AAC Awareness month worldwide. Team Avaz worked through the month to spread awareness through various activities, online as well as offline.
A strong and well-connected community is core to any movement, working towards awareness. To this effect, we compiled a series of AAC-related questions, asked by members of Avaz user groups, and opened it out to the Avaz community, to provide answers. This exercise provided deeply relatable and insightful responses drawn from the community’s experiences.
First-hand narratives shared by AAC app users added richness and context to our understanding of the larger picture of what it means to create awareness. Halloween and Diwali at the end of the month, helped us spotlight the unique challenges faced by children with autism during such holidays. This opportunity was used, to document several tried and tested ideas to handle the identified challenges.
Team Avaz participated in the Open Day conducted by Vidya Sagar – The Center for Special Education, Chennai. Live demonstrations of Avaz app was made to parents, caregivers, and speech therapists. In addition, a general awareness session on AAC was held and related queries were answered in this event.
Our team also attended Empower 2018, an Assistive Technology conference in Delhi. Here, we got the opportunity to share our journey and experiences of building Avaz as a product, with various users and stakeholders in the Assistive Technology space. This experience, rich with interaction and exchange of ideas, helped us gauge a few things with greater clarity –
- Some of the gaps that exist in our own work and
- The long way we collectively have yet to go, in making accessibility of every kind, a reality in all aspects of life.
As we mark the end of the AAC Awareness Month 2018, we are grateful for the continued support received from the AAC & Avaz community. We rededicate ourselves to listening to the community’s needs and using insights thus gained, to constantly strive towards bettering our product offerings. We reaffirm ourselves to our mission of always creating cutting edge, quality AAC products, and solutions, to make accessibility a reality for all!