Many high end AAC devices have the potential to control basic items in the environment using the same method of access being used for communication (i.e. direct selection, eyegaze, single switch scanning). Simple environmental control pages already exist within the devices. Access to such features may not be accessible if the device is “locked” based on an insurance requirement. It is important to check with the Speech Language Pathologist recommending the device to determine which features will be available when an AAC device is received.
The AAC devices operate devices through infrared, just like a television remote control. Operation of devices such as televisions and other electronics with remotes can easily be set for operation. Extending the control to devices not already operated by remote (i.e. fans, doors, blinds) require additional electronics not included with the AAC devices to allow for IR interaction. Recommendations for such components can come from the manufacturer of the AAC device when acquired to ensure compatibility. Additional components would not be covered by standard insurance.