Literacy and Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Current Research and IndicationsBy Doneski-Nicol, Janis; Closing the Gap, Vol. 27, No. 4, pp. 34-38
Publication Date: October/November 2008
Article discusses research aimed at increasing the literacy skills of individuals with complex communication disorders who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. Published research in this field was found to be limited, with the majority of study sizes ranging from one to 14 participants. The primary disability represented was cerebral palsy. Phonological processing, spelling and writing were the literacy components represented. Few studies included communication systems that are computer-based or interface with a computer for word processing and other features, and no research addressing current literacy products was identified. Recommendations for teaching literacy skills to users of AAC systems, based on the literature review, include the following: (1) provide instruction early; (2) provide instruction in phonological processing; (3) incorporate text-to-speech systems; (4) provide explicit and direct instruction; (5) provide balanced literacy; and (6) select valid assessment tools to guide the selection of appropriate interventions. Priorities identified for future research in this field include duplication of studies, generalization of interventions to include teachers and others in the assessment and intervention process, as well as the exploration of methods available to teach reading skills to individuals who use AAC systems.
Published by: Closing the Gap, Inc. (Website:http://www.closingthegap.com)