Presentations Educate Parents and Professionals about DDD’s Recent Changes to AAC Services

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On January 1, 2021, Arizona’s Department of Developmental Disabilities transferred the management of their Augmentative and Alternative Communication Unit (AAC Aug Com unit) to their contracted managed care organizations, Mercy Care and United Health Care, including evaluations for AAC devices and related training. The state has promised this transition will bring many benefits, including a more efficient and timely process to improve service.

However, this shift also created many questions about how the new system works. Join us for a free webinar and receive the AAC answers you need to serve your clientele! Arizona’s Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ArSHA) has partnered with managed care organizations and several local organizations to de-mystify the state’s new AAC process.  A series of presentations and webinars aimed at professionals and families will launch over the next several months.

In July, the IHD Evidence for Success Virtual Disability Conference was held July 7 through 9th. It featured a 75-minute ArSHA AAC presentation titled: AAC in Arizona: Navigating the New Managed Care Model geared to professionals in the field with over 50 in attendance.

In August, ArSHA will sponsor a free webinar for speech and hearing professionals, titled: AAC in Arizona: Navigating the New Managed Care Model, Saturday, August 21 from 10:00 to 11:15 am.

Click here to register for the FREE August AAC webinar

In September, ArSHA will present a family-oriented discussion of the state’s new AAC service model at the 22nd Annual Autism Society of Greater Phoenix Autism Conference. The link can be found here:

Representatives from both managed care organizations (Mercy Care and United Health Care) will also be on hand during presentations to answer specific questions.

Topics include:

  • Exploring the new AAC referral process
  • Documenting medical justification for AAC
  • Reviewing the role of schools in the MCO system
  • Examining requirements for each managed care organization

Links to helpful resources including a referral form will also be provided.

The ArSHA AAC Committee hopes to educate speech/hearing professionals, parents, and other providers to promote awareness of augmentative and alternative communication and increase AAC availability statewide. You can follow the Arizona Speech-Language Hearing Association on Facebook and Instagram social media or email your questions to

For more information on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), see: