"A Child Needs to be Given a Chance to Succeed": Parents of Individuals Who Use AAC Describe the Benefits and Challenges of Learning AAC TechnologiesBy McNaughton, David; Rackensperger, Tracy; Beneder-Wood, Elizabeth; Krezman, Carole; Williams, Michael B.; Light, Janice; Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 43-53
Publication Date: March 2008
Focus group conducted to gain a better understanding of the perspectives of parents of individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technology. Participants were 7 parents of individuals who (a) had cerebral palsy, (b) had speech that was inadequate to meet their daily communication needs, and (c) used AAC technology as part of their AAC system to communicate with others. Their children, whose use of AAC devices included the Dynavox 3100, the Pathfinder, and the Liberator, ranged in age from 6 to 30 years. The focus group was conducted on the Internet over a 9-week period. Six major themes emerged from the discussion: (1) issues in the selection of AAC technology; (2) knowledge and skills needed to use AAC technology; (3) barriers to learning; (4) teaching the individual; (5) educating society; and (6) recommendations to others. Important supports to learning how to make effective use of AAC technology included constant and consistent access to devices in order to develop competency, opportunities for individual exploration, use of the technology in role-play activities, organized instruction, and opportunities for functional use in the community.
Assistive Products Discussed: DYNAVOX 3100
LIBERATOR (MODELS LIB-STD-KEY-BLU, LIB-STD-KEY-RED, LIB STD-KEY-GRY, LIB-STD-HP60-BLU, LIB-STD-HP60-GRY, LIB-STD-HP60-RED, LIB-LIT-KEY-BLU, LIB-LIT-KEY-GRY, LIB-LIT-KEY-RED, LIB-LIT-HP60-BLU, LIB-LIT-HP60-GRY, LIB-LIT-HP60-RED)
Published by: International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) (Website:http://www.isaac-online.org)
Link to text: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07434610701421007