The AAC-FACT is a functional outcome assessment for augmentative and alternative communication. It is a multidimensional, performance oriented, outcome measurement instrument which primarily focuses on measuring functional communication. Primary domains of measurement include: 1) Communication Context and Activities, and 2) Communication Interaction Competence. Both parent domains have different subcategories with up to seven levels to constitute a taxonomy of 800 items.
The AAC-FACT was conceptualized and a skeleton of a taxonomy was produced by a team of graduate students at UW-Madison in 1990. The initial taxonomy was not completed and remained dormant until 2010. The project was re-opened in 2010 with an aim to re-draft and complete the taxonomy. It took over a year to develop the first draft of a complete AAC-FACT prototype ready to be tested for its preliminary validation.
A 5 step approach was adopted to complete the taxonomy: 1) Revise the old draft of the taxonomy, 2) Perform extensive interdisciplinary literature review to discover the key areas and gaps in the existing assessment measures, 3) Outline the key areas to prepare initial draft of the taxonomy. 4) Critically review the taxonomy for further revision and refinement. 5) Integrate the taxonomy into the xFACT software platform to make the taxonomy a functional assessment. An interdisciplinary team of experts participated and supervised the taxonomy.
Below is a screenshot of AAC-FACT:
Figure 4: AAC-FACT. Screenshot of the AAC-FACT in the xFACT platform with higher levels, definition, and response set displayed.