The project Sign as AAC is about sign language. It focuses on the opportunities to overcome speech difficulties in pre-schools and schools in the Baltic Sea region.
For individuals with language disorders, it is often difficult to acquire necessary knowledge in communication, even for the most basic purposes. The Sign as AAC project stresses that this is a big challenge at pre-schools and schools in Russian-speaking countries, where there is a lack of material to facilitate communication. Children with language disorders often feel isolated and tend to leave school at an early stage. The project also points out that Russia lacks experience of working systematically with language development for this group. Sign as AAC – Augmented and Alternative Communication – uses signs and pictures to handle the difficulties. In Sweden, there is a database with illustrations to explain the signs, and the idea of the project is to translate the existing Swedish educational AAC material into Russian. The project will create around 350 electronical files with illustrations for the Russian sign language and translate the original Swedish book. It will print 2,000 copies of the Russian version, to be used by teachers, people with speech difficulties and their networks.
The project also aims to share experiences and knowledge between teachers in the Baltic Sea region. In the long run, access to educational speech material will offer better chances for pupils with language disorders to be part of society and participate in community activities. Also, the chances that they stay in school will increase. In turn, this will improve the chances of a successful transition from the educational system to the labour market for these students.