"When I first got it, I wanted to throw it off a cliff": The challenges and benefits of learning AAC technologies as described by adults who use AAC

Tracy Rackensperger, Carole Krezman, David McNaughton, Michael B. Williams, Karen D'Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations

Abstract

Seven individuals (aged 21-41 years) with cerebral palsy and who used speech generating augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices participated in a focus group discussion on the benefits and challenges of learning AAC technologies. The focus group was conducted on the Internet over a 9-week period. Five major themes emerged from the discussion: (a) selection of an AAC device; (b) knowledge and skills needed to use AAC technologies; (c) instruction and practice activities; (d) assessment of skill acquisition: and (e) advice to others. Participants reported that a consumer-driven assessment approach, which included the opportunity to discuss options with other individuals who used AAC, was key to the selection of an appropriate device. Participants identified a wide variety of important supports to learning how to make effective use of AAC technologies, including text and technological supports, individual exploration, learning from professionals, drill and practice, learning from peers, and opportunities for functional use in the community. For the participants, successful use of AAC technology was best assessed by functional use in the community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-186
Number of pages22
JournalAAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rehabilitation
  • Speech and Hearing

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