Identifying optimal educational parameters for augmentative and alternative communication users: Stakeholders' perspectives

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Almutairi, Mohammed A.
O'Bryan, Erin
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Research involving parameters for designing and developing an appropriate educational program for students who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) in school settings is considered a relatively recent development in the field of science. The purpose of the study was to a) identify parameters for developing an educational program for AAC users in school settings, b) identify intervention options that maximize AAC users’ participation in schools, c) identify aspects of educational opportunities for promoting AAC users’ learning and academic success, d) identify potential obstacles to positive outcomes in educating AAC users in school settings and e) identify differences in communication partner skills among stakeholders. The findings identified parameters for the education of AAC users in school settings as a solution to the fundamental problem of developing and designing appropriate educational programs for students who use AAC. Additionally, the findings revealed an agreement among the stakeholders on the survey items, meaning that the identified key considerations in AAC and educational opportunities for AAC users would potentially enhance AAC users’ participation and academic success in the school settings. Participants also agree on the potential obstacles that negatively impact educating AAC users in school settings, eliminating the positive outcomes of any educational program trying to serve AAC users in schools. The high level of agreement on key considerations and barriers suggests that a plan can be made for improving education with AAC in the classroom, and the plan is outlined. Lastly, there was a significant difference among the stakeholders in the communication partner skills at a 95% confidence interval, indicating that some specific stakeholders are significantly better communication partners than others.

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Thesis (Ph.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Health Professions, Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Wichita State University
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