Guest Author Guidelines

SpeakUp’s  Objective -­‐-­‐  In the spirit of  the USSAAC mission,  SpeakUp seeks to:

  •   enhance  the lives  of people who  use AAC
  •   support  the augmentative  and alternative communication  (AAC) community
  •   share  information  and resources  
  •   represent  the diverse  perspectives of  all AAC stakeholders  

Authors  – Contributing  guest articles is  a member benefit. It  is limited to USSAAC members,   EXCEPT where articles are requested  by invitation of a Board or Editorial  Committee member.

Topics  – SpeakUP  will accomplish  its mission by including  articles that address one of  the following areas:

  •   AAC Strategies  & Resources
  •   Advocacy  & Funding  
  •   Firsthand  AAC Perspectives      
  •   Research  in AAC
  •   Twitter  Chat Follow-­‐up  
  •   Webinar  Follow-­‐up  


Note:  Articles  may not be  a promotion and/or  advertisement about products. Articles  related to “Research in AAC” will also  require approval by the Ethics & Education   Committee.

Audience  – SpeakUp  is available  to USSAAC members  and guests to the USSAAC  website. Our community includes  people who can benefit from AAC,  people who use AAC, family members,   professionals from multiple disciplines,  students, and AAC-­‐related companies and  institutions.

Length  –

  •   SpeakUp  does not  have a minimum  or maximum length  requirement.
  •   Articles  should be  long enough  to cover the  topic.
  •   Articles  should be  short enough  to maintain reader  interest.


Format  –

  •   Break  up content  so people can  easily scan the  article.
  •   Use headings,  bullet points, and  spacing.
  •   Highlight  or emphasize  key terms.
  •   Include  an introduction,  a body, and a conclusion.  

  Best  Practice  Guidelines  –

  •   Be thoughtful  and respectful of  how other others may  be affected.
  •   Be accurate  and provide support  for your position. Include  any references at the end of  

the  article.    

  •   Ensure  privacy.      Articles must  comply with relevant  provisions of the Health  Insurance Portability and Accountability  Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) or the Family Educational  Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”). Language –
  •   Consider  using people-­‐first  language. Refer to the  person first followed by  the disability

(e.g.,  a person  with Aphasia  as opposed to  stroke victim).   

  •   Minimize  the use of  abbreviations,  acronyms, legal  terms, jargon or  lingo. If necessary  to

your  article,  please define  them or provide  an example.

  •   Describe,  rather than  specify product  names and/or companies  (e.g., 12” eye gaze

device).  Individual  considerations  will be given to  articles in which including  the specific device and/or product  name or company is essential to the  content of the article.

  •   Consider  using Plain  English to make  your article accessible  to as many people as

possible.        Photos & Videos  – Please include  photos or other graphics  to enhance the visual appeal  of your article. Photos can be  uploaded using the SpeakUp Guest Author  Form. Photos may also be uploaded to a  separate site (e.g., Flickr), in which case,  please provide the link. Files must be less than  1 MB in size. When submitting pictures and/or videos,  please provide the following:

  •   A signed  Photo Release  for each individual  pictured.
  •   References  for photo(s)  or graphic(s) used  (e.g., photo by Sam  Smith).
  •   A caption  or alternative  text for each graphic  or photo submitted.  

  External  Links –  All external  links will be  checked for appropriateness  and considered on an individual  basis.


        Disclosures  – Each guest  author is required  to make a disclosure  statement about his or  her financial and non-­‐financial  relationships, as it relates to the  article. If you do not have any relationships  to the article, please indicate “none”.

  •   Financial  relationships  are those through  which the individual  may have a personal

financial  interest to  the article. Examples  include a salary, royalty,  intellectual property rights,  gift, consulting fee, honorarium,  ownership interest (e.g., stocks, stock  options) or other financial benefit. Financial  relationships may also include “contracted research”   in which the institution obtains the grant and manages  the funds and the individual serves as the principal or  named investigator.

  •   Nonfinancial  relationships are  those relationships—including  personal, professional,

political,  institutional,  religious, or other—that  might bias an individual.    

Submitting  an Article –  

  •   Complete  the SpeakUp  Guest Author Form,  available on the USSAAC  website. It is

available  as a SpeakUP  Google Form or  a pdf version.

  •   The SpeakUp  editorial team  will review submitted  articles. A member of the  team will contact the author  via email for discussion of final  edits. Following the discussion, the   author and/or USSAAC may retain the rights  to the article.
  •   It may  take up to  90-­‐days for  accepted articles  to be available on  SpeakUp. Once posted

the  article  will be shared  on USSAAC’s social  media avenues.

Need  help or  have questions?  Contact

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