Communication intervention with persons who have severe disabilities

Joe Reichle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


This article summarizes areas of progress made in meeting the communicative needs of individuals with severe disabilities. Evidence supporting best practices in the selection of (a) communicative functions, (b) communicative modes and symbols, and (c) instructional formats is presented. Evidence suggests that approaches to intervention that incorporate careful consideration of social motivations for behavior and recent advances in augmentative communication modes have had a significant impact on success in establishing beginning communicative repertoires. Inherent in this orientation is the belief that nearly all individuals attempt to communicate. This means that literature describing best practices in establishing functionally equivalent and maximally efficient new communicative forms to replace old forms is extremely relevant to communication interventionists. Finally, recent literature suggests that interventionists consider generalization as part of the acquisition process and carefully select a range of contexts in which to implement opportunities to teach new communicative repertoires.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-134
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Special Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997


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