Modality is a notion that is understood in different ways within different approaches to human communication. Modality may be understood as a human sensory and/or motor channel, for example, vision, hearing, touch, voice, or speech. Often, however, modality is investigated in terms of ways of communicating or, alternatively, ways of encoding information. In the latter conceptualization, modalities are subdivided into bodily and material modalities. Whereas the former includes speech, gesture, facial expression, gaze, and body posture, the latter comprises graphic and electronic means. This entry provides a brief overview of the two principal forms of modality and the roles they play in communication disorders and their treatment.

In accordance with the two different notions of modality, communication disorders may be due to damage to the ...

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