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ERIC Number: EJ1002117
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
ISSN: ISSN-1938-727X
The Central Role of Expectations in Communication and Literacy Success: A Parent Perspective
Mintun, Bonnie
Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits, v2 n1 p31-44 Fall 2005
The author chronicles the search for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technology for her daughter Anna, who is now age 21. Though Anna has severe cognitive, visual and orthopedic disabilities, a more significant obstacle to finding a functional AAC system has been low expectations of her capability. Because Anna could not perform prerequisite skills for using even basic systems, more sophisticated technology was not tried for years. However, because her rich experience of inclusion had led Anna's parents to have "unrealistic" dreams for her, they insisted that Anna try more complex devices. Anna's subsequent success with the Vanguard[TM] and the Vantage[TM], by Prentke Romich Company, supports the author's conclusion that prerequisite skills should not be used to restrict access to AAC. In many cases, sophisticated technology may be just what people with the most complicated impairments need. Though Anna is still not fluent with her AAC device, the competencies she has demonstrated with it are way beyond anything she had been able to show with less complex technology. She has also gained a new sense of Self, through communicative assertiveness and a higher social regard by others. Anna's experiences should serve as an example for many underserved people who could benefit from AAC, including individuals with apparently severe and profound cognitive disabilities.
Assistive Technology Industry Association and SEAT Center. Available from: SEAT Center, Special Education, Illinois State University, Campus Box 5910, Normal, IL 61790. Tel: 309-438-7811; Fax: 309-830-0999; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A