Supporting Augmentative and Alternative Communication Use by Beginning Communicators With Severe Disabilities Augmentative and alternative modes of communication (AAC) have assumed an increasingly important role in meeting the communicative needs of individuals with severe disabilities. Despite the potential of AAC to enhance an individual’s communicative effectiveness, practitioners may encounter challenges in implementing AAC interventions with individuals with severe disabilities. This article provides ... Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   February 01, 2004
Supporting Augmentative and Alternative Communication Use by Beginning Communicators With Severe Disabilities
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Susan S. Johnston, PhD
    University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • Joe Reichle
    University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Joanna Evans
    University of Utah, Salt Lake City
  • Contact author: Susan S. Johnston, PhD, Department of Special Education, University of Utah, 221 Milton Bennion Hall, Salt Lake City, UT 84112.
    Contact author: Susan S. Johnston, PhD, Department of Special Education, University of Utah, 221 Milton Bennion Hall, Salt Lake City, UT 84112.×
  • Corresponding author: E-mail: johnst_s@ed.utah.edu
Article Information
Clinical Forum: Intervention Strategies for Severe Disabilities
Clinical Forum   |   February 01, 2004
Supporting Augmentative and Alternative Communication Use by Beginning Communicators With Severe Disabilities
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2004, Vol. 13, 20-30. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2004/004)
History: Received May 13, 2003 , Accepted November 10, 2003
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, February 2004, Vol. 13, 20-30. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2004/004)
History: Received May 13, 2003; Accepted November 10, 2003

Augmentative and alternative modes of communication (AAC) have assumed an increasingly important role in meeting the communicative needs of individuals with severe disabilities. Despite the potential of AAC to enhance an individual’s communicative effectiveness, practitioners may encounter challenges in implementing AAC interventions with individuals with severe disabilities. This article provides strategies addressing some of the challenges faced by practitioners as they teach beginning communicators with severe disabilities to use AAC. Specifically, this article discusses strategies for dealing with situations when learners (a) have AAC systems but are not using them, (b) have AAC systems but their communication partners are not actively participating, or (c) use alternative, but socially or contextually inappropriate, strategies for communication. This article culminates in a framework for increasing the effectiveness of AAC interventions and presents a discussion of needed research.

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