Validation of an Inventory of Best Practices in the Provision of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Services to Students With Severe Disabilities in General Education Classrooms Purpose To compile and then validate a set of evidence-based best practices related to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and its role in fostering the inclusion of students with severe disabilities in general education classrooms and other inclusive settings. Method A comprehensive review of the literature pertaining to ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2009
Validation of an Inventory of Best Practices in the Provision of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Services to Students With Severe Disabilities in General Education Classrooms
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Stephen N. Calculator
    University of New Hampshire, Durham
  • Tibbany Black
    University of New Hampshire, Durham
  • Contact author: Stephen N. Calculator, University of New Hampshire, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Hewitt Hall, 4 Library Way, Durham, NH 03824-3563. E-mail: stephen.calculator@unh.edu.
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / School-Based Settings / Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 2009
Validation of an Inventory of Best Practices in the Provision of Augmentative and Alternative Communication Services to Students With Severe Disabilities in General Education Classrooms
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2009, Vol. 18, 329-342. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2009/08-0065)
History: Received August 28, 2008 , Accepted April 21, 2009
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2009, Vol. 18, 329-342. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2009/08-0065)
History: Received August 28, 2008; Accepted April 21, 2009
Web of Science® Times Cited: 19

Purpose To compile and then validate a set of evidence-based best practices related to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and its role in fostering the inclusion of students with severe disabilities in general education classrooms and other inclusive settings.

Method A comprehensive review of the literature pertaining to AAC and inclusive education for students with severe disabilities in inclusive classrooms resulted in an inventory of possible best practices. Reliability testing was conducted to verify levels of evidence assigned to each source and corresponding practice. Practices were reviewed and validated by a panel of 8 experts. Statistical analysis revealed a high level of internal consistency across items composing the inventory.

Results An inventory of 91 practices, each assigned to 1 of 8 predetermined categories, was uncovered. Themes arising in experts' comments related to items in the inventory are discussed.

Conclusions Possible uses of the inventory are discussed along with suggestions for future research.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported primarily by a grant from the Angelman Syndrome Foundation. Additional funding was provided by Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Grant 6 T73 MC 00024-08-01. Appreciation is extended to Meg Calvert and Elise Coty, who assisted in the reliability study, and to Josefine Garcia, who assisted in assigning levels of evidence to practices. Thanks are also extended to Michael Fraas for statistical support.
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