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    Handout: AAC Evaluation Basics Part 1: Foundational Knowledge

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Course Description & Learning Outcomes

While we both conduct AAC assessments as a core function of our jobs, we found this episode a little challenging to write.  Why, you might ask?  It was hard to know where to start.  There are SO many skills that are encompassed in an effective AAC evaluator.  How on earth would we distill all of that information into an hour?  Turns out, we couldn’t.  After lots of research and discussion we dedicated it was best to explore the vast landscape of AAC evaluations through a series.  

In this episode, the first in our AAC evaluation series, we review some foundational knowledge required to conduct a thorough AAC evaluation, including the fundamental differences between typical speech and language evaluations and the necessary areas of competency.  We review sound foundational literature and review a handful of resources where listeners and learn more.

Join us, be our nerdy friends, and enjoy our tour of the landscape that is AAC assessments!  This course is offered for .1 ASHA CEU.  

Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify three features that make augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) assessments different from other speech and language assessments

  2. Identify two additional types of learning experiences SLPs should undertake in order to learn more about the AAC assessment process

  3. Define four domains related to communicative competence in augmentative alternative communication (AAC)




Course Presenters

SLP/BCBA; SLP Kate Grandbois (she/her) & Amy Wonkka (she/her

Kate and Amy are co-founders of SLP Nerdcast. Kate is a dually certified SLP / BCBA who works primarily as an "AAC Specialist." She owns a private practice with a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, augmentative alternative communication intervention and assessment, and consultation. Amy is an SLP who also works as an "AAC Specialist" in a public school setting. Amy's primary interests are AAC, typical language development, motor speech, phonology, data collection, collaboration, coaching, and communication partner training and support.

Speaker Disclosures

Kate Grandbois financial disclosures: Kate is the owner / founder of Grandbois Therapy + Consulting, LLC and co-founder of SLP Nerdcast.
Kate Grandbois non-financial disclosures: Kate is a member of ASHA, SIG 12, and serves on the AAC Advisory Group for Massachusetts Advocates for Children. She is also a member of the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT), MassABA, the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and the corresponding Speech Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis SIG. 

Amy Wonkka financial disclosures: Amy is an employee of a public school system and co-founder for SLP Nerdcast.
Amy Wonkka non-financial disclosures: Amy is a member of ASHA, SIG 12, and serves on the AAC Advisory Group for Massachusetts Advocates for Children.



Time Ordered Agenda

10 minutes: Introduction, Disclaimers and Disclosures

20 minutes:  Review of features that make augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) assessments different from other speech and language assessments

15 minutes:   Review of additional types of learning experiences SLPs should undertake in order to learn more about the AAC assessment process

10 minutes:   Review of four domains related to communicative competence in augmentative alternative communication (AAC)

5 minutes:  Summary and Closing



References & Resources

Janice Light (1989) Toward a definition of communicative competence for individuals using augmentative and alternative communication systems, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 5:2, 137-144, DOI: 10.1080/07434618912331275126

Janice Light & David McNaughton (2014) Communicative Competence for Individuals who require Augmentative and Alternative Communication: A New Definition for a New Era of Communication?, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 30:1, 1-18, DOI: 10.3109/07434618.2014.885080

Johnson, J. M., Inglebret, E., Jones, C., & Ray, J. (2006). Perspectives of speech language pathologists regarding success versus abandonment of AAC. Augmentative and alternative communication (Baltimore, Md. : 1985), 22(2), 85–99. https://doi.org/10.1080/07434610500483588

Moorcroft, A., Scarinci, N. and Meyer, C. (2020), ‘We were just kind of handed it and then it was smoke bombed by everyone’: How do external stakeholders contribute to parent rejection and the abandonment of AAC systems? . International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 55: 59-69. https://doi.org/10.1111/1460-6984.12502

Online Resources

National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons With Severe Disabilities (NJC) Communication Bill or Rights:  

https://www.asha.org/siteassets/uploadedfiles/njc-communication-bill-rights.pdf



Disclaimer

The contents of this episode are not meant to replace clinical advice.  SLP Nerdcast, its hosts and guests do not represent or endorse specific products or procedures mentioned during our episodes unless otherwise stated.  We are NOT PhDs, but we do research our material.  We do our best to provide a thorough review and fair representation of each topic that we tackle.  That being said, it is always likely that there is an article we’ve missed, or another perspective that isn’t shared.  If you have something to add to the conversation, please email us! Wed love to hear from you!




Reviews

5 star rating

Great Knowledge Base of AAC

Lisa Turner

This course provided me with much needed outline of the AAC process! I feel a bit more comfortable understanding AAC, knowing where I need more information, ...

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This course provided me with much needed outline of the AAC process! I feel a bit more comfortable understanding AAC, knowing where I need more information, and how to advocate for myself in my job when it comes to AAC

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