ERIC Number: EJ830029
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Reference Count: 13
Learning to Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): Is There a Mentoring Role for Adults Experienced in Using AAC?
Ballin, Liora; Balandin, Susan; Togher, Leanne; Stancliffe, Roger J.
Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, v34 n1 p89-91 Mar 2009
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), including speech generating devices (SGDs), offer people with complex communication needs the potential for improved communication and participation in society. Despite rapid and ongoing development in AAC technology, its potential is not being fully realised. The number of people with complex communication needs who use an SGD remains low, and for those who do use SGDs, recent research has highlighted high rates of device abandonment. This situation may be explained by the challenges that people new to using SGDs encounter, including difficulties in obtaining therapy services, barriers to AAC-based communication in the community, and communication partners who lack skills in supporting successful communication. In this paper, the authors suggest that a program with adults experienced in using SGDs as mentors may help address the challenges that new learners of SGDs encounter. This approach may provide a useful adjunct to speech pathology services for a group of people who experience difficulty accessing regular intensive therapy. It may also reduce the anxiety that accompanies long waiting lists and limited service provision. Those new to AAC may benefit from sharing an experienced person's learning experiences and strategies for mastering AAC technology. (Contains 1 note.)
Descriptors: Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Mentors, Adults, Expertise, Assistive Technology, Training, Learning, Role Models
Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A