Most students who use or should be using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) in the U.S. are not communicating proficiently.
Further, research shows that unequal access to AAC is a major barrier for autistic students with little functional speech.
While many AAC interventions focus on students to address this problem, very few interventions focus on eliminating systemic barriers to AAC in educational settings. Education and training of staff is crucial to student success.
Educators in school settings - including teachers, paraprofessionals, and others - can play a pivotal role in encouraging, or hindering, the engagement of students who use AAC.
Communication Partner training for individuals who work in educational settings is a “critical intervention component” in improving students’ AAC access and outcomes.
The extent to which students are successful in communicating depends on the skills and attitudes of their communication partners.
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