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Book part
Publication date: 25 September 2020

M. Alexandra Da Fonte, Miriam C. Boesch and Katie Clouse

Given the rise of individuals who have complex communication needs (CCN), it is important to identify appropriate assistive technology systems that can support the…

Abstract

Given the rise of individuals who have complex communication needs (CCN), it is important to identify appropriate assistive technology systems that can support the individual's communication needs. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems can serve as a means to assist individuals to communicate independently. The goal of AAC is to enhance or replace the individual's current and limited verbal or written communication skills. This chapter focuses on feature matching, aided communication and the selection process for aided communication systems including low to high technology systems. It also emphasises other key considerations pertaining to person-centred planning such as conducting preference assessments and trial periods to minimise system abandonment.

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Tizard Learning Disability Review, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-5474

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2013

Jill Bradshaw

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the communication applications (apps) that can be used with devices such as the iPad, iPod and iPhone to support…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the communication applications (apps) that can be used with devices such as the iPad, iPod and iPhone to support augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

Design/methodology/approach

A brief discussion of the research into the use of high‐technology communication aids is followed by an introduction to the iPad, iPod and iPhone AAC apps.

Findings

These devices and apps clearly have a role within the spectrum of AAC devices currently available. They may have some distinct advantages in cost, ease of use and acceptability but more research into their use is needed.

Originality/value

This article starts with a model of communicative competence and presents some recent research into barriers in the use of high‐technology AAC. It suggests some ways in which AAC apps may address some of the barriers to implementation and functional use. Finally, the need for individual assessment to determine specific communication needs is stressed. These devices and apps may not always be the best solution for people with complex communication needs.

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Book part
Publication date: 10 June 2015

Denise J. Frankoff

This chapter describes the results of an exploratory study that examined parents’ experiences with the law as they obtained funding for speech generating devices for their…

Abstract

This chapter describes the results of an exploratory study that examined parents’ experiences with the law as they obtained funding for speech generating devices for their children with communication disabilities, either through public health insurance, private health insurance, or a public school. Exploring legal consciousness: Experiences of families seeking funding for assistive technologies for children with disabilities. Law, Policy, and Society Dissertations. Paper 17. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20000265). The study explored how parents engaged with the law and how their experiences and perceptions about the law compared to the formal law. This research was based on sociolegal theory, particularly the concept of legal consciousness, which examines how people think and act in relation to the law as a consequence of social interactions, and analyzes how law in action compares with the formal law. Sociolegal theory broadens the definition of law to include “the meanings, sources of authority, and cultural practices” (Ewick & Silbey, 1998, p. 22) as well as the formal law.

Similar to other sociolegal research, this study collected personal narratives of law using grounded theory methods to identify themes within those narratives. The narratives revealed that while parents expressed varieties of legal consciousness, there was one overarching theme: the law provided a framework for parents to envision rights, discuss rights, and claim rights. While few parents invoked formal legal mechanisms to solve grievances, the law created a rights consciousness among parents which empowered them to acknowledge and validate the notion of rights and entitlements.

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Efficacy of Assistive Technology Interventions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-641-6

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Book part
Publication date: 10 June 2015

Kathy L. Look Howery

This chapter presents an exploration of the phenomenon of speaking with, or perhaps better stated “through,” a device. Autobiographical works and other published accounts…

Abstract

This chapter presents an exploration of the phenomenon of speaking with, or perhaps better stated “through,” a device. Autobiographical works and other published accounts of perceptions of Speech-Generating Devices (SGDs) by persons who have used them are reviewed. The bulk of the chapter focuses on insights gathered from research into the lived experiences of young people who use SGDs. Emerging themes focus on what is “said” by a person who cannot speak, how SGDs announce one’s being in the word, the challenge of one’s words not being one’s own, and the constant sense of being out of time. Reflections on these themes provide insights for practice in the fields of speech language pathology, education, and rehabilitation engineering. The importance of further qualitative inquiry as a method to gather and listen to the voices and experiences of these often unheard individuals is stressed.

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Efficacy of Assistive Technology Interventions
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-641-6

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Book part
Publication date: 29 June 2016

Jason C. Travers, Matt Tincani, Julie L. Thompson and Richard L. Simpson

Learners with autism require specialized education and supports to ensure acquisition and mastery of various communication skills. This is particularly true for…

Abstract

Learners with autism require specialized education and supports to ensure acquisition and mastery of various communication skills. This is particularly true for individuals whose disability significantly impacts their language development. Without functional communication, these individuals often engage in severe behavior, have reduced self-determination, and experience diminished quality of life. Accordingly, researchers in special education and related fields have sought ways to improve the communication skills of learners with autism who need specialized language and communication interventions. Although the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is well-established in the empirical literature and has helped countless individuals learn to communicate, the method known as facilitated communication (FC; which also is being called “supported typing” and “rapid prompting method”) has become increasingly popular in recent years. Few methods in special education have been as thoroughly discredited as FC and perhaps none are as dangerous. This chapter contrasts the thoroughly debunked FC and its pseudoscientific characteristics with those underpinning PECS. A brief historical account of each method is provided along with key scientific and pseudoscientific features that distinguish science from pseudoscience. Ultimately, our intent is to further clarify how FC is not an augmentative or alternative communication method and why PECS is.

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Instructional Practices with and without Empirical Validity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-125-8

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2010

Ingrid Müller, Margret Buchholz and Ulrika Ferm

Current technology offers many possibilities for remote communication. Nevertheless, people with cognitive and communicative disabilities have limited access to common…

Abstract

Current technology offers many possibilities for remote communication. Nevertheless, people with cognitive and communicative disabilities have limited access to common communication technology like text messaging via a mobile phone. This study is part of the project Text messaging with picture symbols ‐ possibilities for persons with cognitive and communicative disabilities. Semi‐structured interviews were used to investigate the experience of using Windows mobiles with adapted functions for text messaging by three men and four women. The participants' opinions about the content and organisation of the project were also evaluated. All participants except one experienced increased possibilities for remote communication via text messaging. Increased participation was another relevant finding. Technical aids and interventions were individually tailored and the majority of the participants thought that Talking Mats for goal setting and repeated interviews during the project had been successful methods.

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Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

Rebecca Palmer, Pam Enderby and Mark Hawley

This paper discusses the opinions of people who use communication aids regarding the development of a voice input voice output communication aid (VIVOCA) using speech…

Abstract

This paper discusses the opinions of people who use communication aids regarding the development of a voice input voice output communication aid (VIVOCA) using speech recognition technology. It uniquely combines the views of users of communication aids with those of speech and language therapists. Semi structured questionnaires were completed by 12 users of communication aids and 34 speech and language therapists discussed the concept of a VIVOCA in three focus groups. A thematic analysis of the information was carried out. Input, output and hardware requirements are discussed leading to specifications that therapists and users perceive would be required for a VIVOCA.

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2017

Samantha Wallis, Steven Bloch and Michael Clarke

The purpose of this paper is to document augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) training provision by clinical services in England.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to document augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) training provision by clinical services in England.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was used to obtain the following information concerning AAC training provision; frequency, length, type, content and cost, trainee occupations and numbers, and future training priorities, and information concerning training providers – service type, geographical area.

Findings

In total, 98 clinical service training providers in England responded. Services commonly reported providing AAC training to speech and language therapists, teaching assistants and teachers. Training around “use of specific AAC products, systems and technology” and “introducing/awareness raising of AAC products” were rated as high priority for future training and were two of the three subject areas where services reported the highest percentage of training. Training was predominantly provided at a foundation (basic) level.

Originality/value

There is no consensus on the amount or content of AAC training which professionals in England must receive. Evidence suggests that AAC training for pre-qualification professionals is limited and this paper has identified variation in the amount and type of post-qualification AAC training. While knowledge concerning specific AAC systems is necessary, focussing training primarily on this area may not address critical gaps in knowledge. There is a need for specific recommendations regarding AAC training for professionals in this field, to ensure professionals can fully support people who use AAC.

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Article
Publication date: 9 December 2011

Christine Sherlock

The purpose of this paper is to describe the journey of a young person with severe and complex communication needs from no formal expressive communication system, to a…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the journey of a young person with severe and complex communication needs from no formal expressive communication system, to a point where he is motivated and able to use a text based voice output communication aid for a range of communication functions, in a variety of settings, and with a range of communication partners.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a descriptive single case study, documenting long‐term changes in speech, language, and communication needs and use, and discontinuation of use, of range of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) tools.

Findings

The paper describes the different AAC interventions and their success or otherwise in supporting the young person. It also describes key educational and therapeutic aspects of his management. Changes in the young person's interaction, language and literacy skills, and how his family and the professionals around him perceived the changes in his communication are highlighted.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is a description of one person without a known underlying diagnosis of his severe and complex communication impairment and might, therefore, be of restricted use when generalized.

Originality/value

There are few published longitudinal descriptions concerning how, why, and when young people use or discard AAC tools. This paper highlights the multiple and various factors of the factors that can be at work when actually providing intervention.

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

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