Tales from School Trenches: AAC Service-Delivery and Professional Expertise
21 July 2008 (online)
School-based speech-language pathologists work with a broad spectrum of students with varying needs. Recent reports indicate that ~50% of speech-language pathologists working in school settings have students who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) on their caseloads. Therefore, AAC service-delivery continues to emerge as an area of great interest and concern in the school setting. As researchers and clinicians strive to validate and provide high-quality AAC services, it is important to examine current AAC service-delivery issues in the schools. Several recent investigations include data that describe current trends and issues in AAC service provision. This article will use findings from several recent reports and investigations as a basis for (a) presenting contemporary issues relating to AAC service-delivery and professional expertise in the schools and (b) exploring practical future directions for AAC clinicians and researchers.
Augmentative and alternative communication - demographics - personnel preparation - schools - speech-language pathologists
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1 It should be noted that all speech-language pathologists working in a large metropolitan school district in Florida were invited to complete the Web-based survey, which contained questions relating to caseloads, student demographics, and AAC training. Ninety-one of the 201 possible respondents participated in the investigation, yielding a 45% return rate.
Jennifer Kent-Walsh, Ph.D.
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
4000 Central Florida Boulevard, HPA II, Room 101X, Orlando, FL 32816-2215