Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-10-2018


Augmentative, Alternative, Communication, ICU, Acute Care, Nursing, Speech-Language Pathology, Communication Boards, Eye Gaze


Patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) often find it difficult or impossible to verbally communicate due to mechanical ventilation, tracheostomy tubes or increased fatigue and delirium. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can provide ICU patients with a way to communicate during their ICU admittance. However, few hospitals currently have a systematic service delivery model in place for providing AAC tools and supports to ICU patients. This resource manual provides an outline for creating and implementing an AAC service delivery model along with AAC materials and resources appropriate for an ICU. Explanations of how each material is used, who they are appropriate for and how they can modify are provided for each AAC method discussed. Providing a detailed and systematic AAC service delivery model, such as the one outlined in this resource manual, allows ICU patients to effectively and efficiently communicate during a frightening and anxiety-provoking time.