Course Curriculum

    1. Self Assessment, Course Evaluation, and Feedback

About this course

  • $9.00
  • 1 lesson
  • 0 hours of video content

This course is a podcast episode.

You can listen for free to this course and all of our podcast episodes on most podcast players (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts). You can also stream it or download it below. Once you have listened to the episode/course you can access the post-test and earn your certificate/ASHA CEUs using the links above.

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    Handout: AAC Implementation Plans

    An outline several pages long that includes main episode points, a reference list, and online resources. Included in annual subscription.
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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.

Episode Summary

DISCLAIMER: We got a little sassy in this episode.  Contains explicit content.

Anyone who works in augmentative alternative communication (AAC) knows that matching an individual with the right tool is a crucial step to AAC success - but more often than not the success is NOT about having the right tool.  Success happens when the tool is implemented in conjunction with a successful teaching procedure consistently across communication partners.  There is no better way to make this happen than writing and distributing an implementation plan.

Implementation plans come to us from the world of assistive technology.  While they are an incredibly important component to effective AAC use, they can (and sometimes should) be used across different aspects of language intervention, especially when multiple communication partners are involved.  Because communication partners bring their own varied experiences, education, and values to the table, implementation plans can be an incredible resource to bridge gaps for AAC uses in a variety of settings.  As evolving documents, they contain key information to help communication partners use the tool and seek information when there are breakdowns in effective communication.

In this episode we review the importance of AAC implementation pans, key components of successful plans, and different hurdles you may find depending on your setting.  Our goal is that by the end of this episode you are excited as we are about this amazing and effective documents!

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe at least 2  key components of AAC implementation plans and why they should be used 
  2. Identify at least 2 potential benefits of using AAC implementation plans
  3. Identify at least 2 hurdles to effective AAC implementation plans


Bausch, M. E., & Ault, M. J. (2008). Assistive Technology Implementation Plan. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 41(1), 6–14. doi: 10.1177/004005990804100101 

Blackstone, S. W., & Wilkins, D. P. (2009). Exploring the Importance of Emotional Competence in Children With Complex Communication Needs. Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 18(3), 78–87. doi: 10.1044/aac18.3.78

Light, J. (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

Online Resources

AAC Implementation Plans: Preparing for Successful Communication. (2018, February 15). Retrieved from 

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.). Retrieved from§ion 

NATRI Home Page. (n.d.). Retrieved from 

(n.d.). Retrieved from 

What are the school's responsibilities regarding assistive technology? (n.d.). Retrieved from 

Zangari, C. (2019, September 8). How I Do It: Setting Up an AAC Implementation Plan. Retrieved from


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: Kate is an employee of a public school system and co-founder of 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:  Descriptions of AAC implementation plans and how they should be used

15 minutes:  Descriptions of benefits of using AAC implementation plans across settings

10 minutes:  Describe hurtles to effective AAC implementation plans and strategies for overcoming those hurdles

5 minutes: Summary and Closing


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.