Augmentative and alternative modes of communication (AAC) have assumed an increasingly important role in meeting the communicative needs of individuals with severe disabilities. Despite the potential of AAC to enhance an individual's communicative effectiveness, practitioners may encounter challenges in implementing AAC interventions with individuals with severe disabilities. This article provides strategies addressing some of the challenges faced by practitioners as they teach beginning communicators with severe disabilities to use AAC. Specifically, this article discusses strategies for dealing with situations when learners (a) have AAC systems but are not using them, (b) have AAC systems but their communication partners are not actively participating, or (c) use alternative, but socially or contextually inappropriate, strategies for communication. This article culminates in a framework for increasing the effectiveness of AAC interventions and presents a discussion of needed research.
- Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)
- Matching theory
- Response efficiency
- Severe disabilities