The importance of empowerment as a valued outcome for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) users is well documented. AAC users participating in an empowerment programme in South Africa, FOFA, are mostly diagnosed with cerebral palsy and have severe communication needs. They came to the programme as disempowered individuals, mostly due to reason that they were never able to speak. FOFA is focusing on training the AAC users to use their AAC system effectively and thereby facilitating empowerment. Measurement tools used in the field to measure empowerment tend to report on empowerment as an outcome instead of focusing on the equally important process of developing empowerment. This presentation addresses the process of becoming empowered and will be substantiated through the use of case studies. We will demonstrate the complex interplay between communication competence, opportunities for social participation, the importance of support systems and the development of empowerment.