Semin Speech Lang 2008; 29(2): 112-119
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1079125
© Thieme Medical Publishers

Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Literacy Teams: Facing the Challenges, Forging Ahead

Karen A. Fallon1 , Lauren A. Katz2
  • 1Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology, & Deaf Studies, Towson University, Towson, Maryland
  • 2Department of Communication Disorders, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
21 July 2008 (online)


The development of literacy skills in individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) requires the collective efforts of collaborative literacy teams who have expertise in language, literacy, and AAC. Literacy teams responsible for teaching reading and writing skills to students with complex communication needs face many challenges including students who often cannot participate in conventional literacy activities (e.g., reading aloud), a lack of materials and resources, and poor professional preparation in the area of AAC and literacy. In the ongoing effort to improve the quality and effectiveness of literacy services provided to students who use AAC, it is important to evaluate the professional expertise of personnel involved in literacy assessment and intervention. This article uses the current research base to provide a discussion of several issues and challenges faced by school-based literacy teams who provide reading and writing services to students with complex communication needs. Future goals and directions for literacy teams striving to provide effective reading and writing services are also explored in a discussion aimed at the advancement of school-based literacy services for students who use AAC.


Karen A Fallon, Ph.D. 

Department of Audiology, Speech-Language Pathology, & Deaf Studies, Towson University

8000 York Road, Towson, MD 21252