Get curated editors’ picks, peeks behind the scenes, film recommendations and more.
From job automation to the many pitfalls of social media, the technological progress of the past several decades has had mixed social consequences, to put it mildly. However, one of the rare frontiers where tech advances have greatly improved lives with very little downside is in the area of alternative and augmentative communication aids (AACs). Taking many forms and with mutiple uses beyond person-to-person communication, these devices help to give people with speaking disabilities a voice in a society where their rich inner worlds and distinctive points of view are often overlooked. In this short animation, the UK filmmaker Jemima Hughes, who uses an AAC herself, explains how these technologies have evolved, and why, when engaging with someone who uses an AAC, patience is essential.
Director: Jemima Hughes
Website: BBC Ideas
Demography and migration
How the world’s harshest lockdown hit India’s millions of migrant workers
Edward Hopper came of age with cinema. As an artist, he left a lasting mark on it
Teaching and learning
Ronald grew up in a New York City library. It was as strange and wondrous as it sounds
An unvarnished, poetic account of a new mother’s struggle to breastfeed
The ancient world
What did the Rosetta Stone’s inscription actually communicate?
Why making if-then connections might be the key to consciousness
The cast of ‘misfit toys’ who keep life on an idyllic tourist island afloat
Ageing and death
When his elderly parents make a suicide pact, Doron struggles to accept their choice
Biography and memoir
What Akiko saw at the centre of the Hiroshima blast, and the indelible mark it left