Juan Bornman

University of Pretoria


Juan Bornman is the current president of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) (2020-2022), as well as professor in the Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. For the past 30 years, she has worked in the field of AAC as a trainer, researcher, and activist for persons with complex communication needs, focusing on communication as a basic human right.


  Sep 29th 2022.
  12:00 - 12:30 p.m.    

AAC for Empowering Children and Breaking the Silence

About session

Adults and children with little or no functional speech (LNFS) face increased vulnerability when it comes to being a victim of crime as they are seen as voiceless and invisible members of society. Perpetrators know that a silent victim is the perfect victim. This presentation will start by explaining the scope of the problem and highlight the implications thereof. This will be followed by a discussion of two common legal dilemmas, namely the underreporting of crimes as well as the low conviction rates.

The presentation will conclude by providing guidance in terms of the way forward, by underscoring possible and promising approaches to risk reduction for this population. Breaking the silence is hard work, but it can be done, and should be done. A systemic multi-disciplinary approach is promulgated, and specific strategies are provided for each of the different role-players. This includes people who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), AAC professionals, AAC manufacturers, criminal justice professionals, police officers, policy makers and disability advocates, family members and other significant others and last, but definitely not least, civil society.

  Sep 29th 2022.
  2:30 - 2:45 p.m.    


About session

Presentation of ISAAC