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A Bit About Us

Communication is Key AAC is a Michigan non-profit organization that believes that every individual has the right to be able to communicate. Our mission is to improve access to communication for those with complex communication needs by increasing training for Speech pathologists, teachers, support staff in schools and the community, and families, and increasing opportunities for those with complex communication needs to meet others with similar needs.

Communication is Key was founded by families who were frustrated with the support (or lack thereof) their children were receiving from local schools and therapy facilities. 

People with complex communication needs have a right to communicate, and a lack of trained staff who can help them learn to communicate effectively is an impediment to achieving their goals. A lack of role models who also use communication methods other than their voices hampers their development as competent communicators as well.

It is our goal to improve services to those with complex communication needs, and their families, in order to help them reach their communication potential.


Janet & Barry Callahan

Parents of two children with complex medical histories, and at one point both of them used AAC devices. Currently, their daughter, Bethany, is verbal (but highly echolalic) and their son Alexander has only a handful of spoken words that are clear to unfamiliar partners. Alex uses an Accent 800 as his primary mode of communication, but both children use a substantial amount of sign language as well. The Callahans have been actively working with their school district for over 6 years to provide Alex the full-time hands-on support he needs to grow his communication skills.