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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  • $2.99

    Handout: Partner Training in AAC

    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

It takes two (Kate’s singing somewhere, listen to the podcast, you’ll get it) - at least two, for communication.  When introducing aided augmentative alternative communication (AAC) tools to people with complex communication needs, it isn’t just about them - things they have to learn, changes they need to make.  Optimal communication and acquisition of new skills requires something from the partner as well.

In this podcast we’ll review several studies on partner training that just might make you think about things a little differently.  We’ll give some background on what the literature says about partner training, why you should think about incorporating it into your practice, and consider some potential obstacles and workarounds that might fit your environment.

Expect to learn the common communication behaviors seen in partners of aided AAC users, frequently used methods employed in partner training programs, and specific questions to ask yourself prior to embarking on a partner training program.  We’ll provide an overview of the work of Kent-Walsh and Binger with the ImPAACT program, and hopefully you’ll get as inspired as we were!

Come join us, be our nerdy friend, listen, learn, and earn ASHA Professional Development (other providers check with your credentialing organization to find out if our quiz and certificate of participation counts toward the professional development requirements for your license, email us with any questions!). 

Learning Outcomes

  1. Define partner training and review at least 2 evidence based descriptions of partner training
  2. Describe at least two implementation strategies for partner training 
  3. Identify at least 2 hurdles to implementing partner training and 2 strategies for overcoming those hurdles  


Binger, C., & Kent-Walsh, J. (2012). Selecting Skills To Teach Communication Partners: Where Do I Start? Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 21(4), 127–135. doi: 10.1044/aac21.4.127

Kent-Walsh, J., & Binger, C. (2013). Fundamentals of the ImPAACT Program. Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 22(1), 51–58. doi: 10.1044/aac22.1.51 

Kent-Walsh, J., Murza, K. A., Malani, M. D., & Binger, C. (2015). Effects of Communication Partner Instruction on the Communication of Individuals using AAC: A Meta-Analysis. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 31(4), 271–284. doi: 10.3109/07434618.2015.1052153

 Kovach, T. M. (2009). Augmentative & alternative communication profile a continuum of learning. East Moline, IL: LinguiSystems.

Online Resources

Schmidt, J., Lu, T., Boyle, T., & Vedantam, S. (2018, June 5). When Everything Clicks: The Power Of Judgment-Free Learning. 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 partner training and the supporting evidence in the literature

15 minutes:  Descriptions of implementation strategies for partner training

10 minutes:  Describe the hurdles to effective partner training and strategies to overcome 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!

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