Collaborative Practices Related to Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Current Personnel Preparation Programs


Although speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are typically responsible for the treatment of communication problems, the development and implementation of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) interventions requires the expertise and involvement of additional educational team members (e.g., general and special education teachers, physical therapists, parents). Effective collaboration by these team members is necessary to develop and implement appropriate AAC interventions for students with disabilities. However, it is unclear if university preservice training programs for SLPS are providing appropriate knowledge and skill training in the collaborative skills that are critical to the appropriate provision of services to students who require AAC. This article discusses specific collaborative skills required for AAC service delivery and examines available information about the state of the profession with regard to preprofessional preparation in collaboration skills for team members. Data from a pilot survey of the preservice professional training experiences in the area of collaboration for SLPs and special and general educators who teach students who use AAC are presented, as is information from university faculty who currently teach AAC courses. Suggestions are provided regarding further examination of issues related to preservice training for team members who provide AAC services to students in schools.


Counseling, Leadership, and Special Education

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Communication Disorders Quarterly