Instructor: Katie Boarman, M.A., CCC-SLP

Module 1: Introduction to Augmentative and Alternative Communication

AAC defined, user, partner, and professional perspectives,

General societal response,

Contrast among high tech, low tech and no tech communication devices,

Vocabulary selection issues such as developmental changes, individualization based on desired outcomes, organization and selection methods.

Module 2: Augmentative, Alternative Communication Terminology

Symbol systems: unaided and aided techniques, overview and demonstration of available aided symbol systems, matching clients to symbol systems,

Rate Enhancement,

Access Methods: direct selection, scanning, other indirect methods, and switches,

Device vendor presentations from local representatives.

Module 3: Developmental Disabilities

AAC and issues for people with developmental disabilities,

Supporting participation and communication for beginning communicators,

Language development and intervention,

Literacy intervention and educational inclusion for individuals with complex communication needs,

Case reviews and Achieving Communication Competence Intervention Plan.

Module 4: Acquired Disabilities

Adults with acquired physical disabilities,

Aphasia, Apraxia of Speech, Traumatic Brain Injury, Degenerative cognitive and linguistic disorders,

AAC in intensive, acute, and long-term medical settings.

Module 5: Assessment, Funding, and Cultural Issues

Principles of decision making, intervention, and evaluation,

Principles of assessment and assessments for funding,

Cultural Issues and AAC users.

Suggested Resources


Beukelman, D., & Mirenda, P. (2013). Augmentative and alternative communication: Supporting children and adults with complex communication needs (4th ed.). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., Inc. 

Gillette, Y. (2012). Achieving communication competence: Three steps to effective intervention. Verona, WI: Attainment Company, Inc.

Soto, G.,& Zanagari, C. (2009). Practically speaking: Language, literacy, and academic development for students with AAC needs. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., Inc.


Closing the Gap, P.O. Box 68, Henderson, MN 56044 $26 a year, $1495 Resource Directory


AAC-RERC - A comprehension resource with training, research, development for individuals who use AAC and individuals who work with AAC.

News 2 You - A resource utilizing SymbolStix symbol set.

PrAACtical AAC -  A blog written by two professors of speech-language pathology loaded with resources and information

Symbols Sets:

Mayer Johnson, R. (1990). The picture communication symbols. P.O. Box 1579, Solana Beach CA: 92075-1579. (also available in computer form: Boardmaker)



The AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication) Journal

Communication Outlook

RESNA (An interdisciplinary association for the advancement of rehabilitation technology).

ASHA: Special Interest Group 12 

Publications affiliated with TAM:

The TAM Newsletter


International: ISAAC (International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication)-Biennial in July at varying locations; C-SUN (Center on Disabilities at California State University, Northridge)-San Diego, CA in March

National: Closing the Gap- Minneapolis, MN in October; OCALI (Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence)- Columbus, OH in November



Brady, N. C., Thiemann-Bourque, K., Fleming, K., & Matthews, K. (2013). Predicting Language Outcomes for Children Learning Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Child and Environmental Factors. Journal Of Speech, Language & Hearing Research, 56(5), 1595-1612. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0102

Blischak, D.M. (1995). Thomas the writer: Case study of a child with severe physical, speech, and visual impairment. Language Speech and Hearing the Schools, 26, 11-20.

Carlson, F., Hough, S. Lippert, E., & Young, C. (1987). Facilitating interaction during mealtime. Implementation of strategies for improving the use of communication aids in schools serving handicapped children. Rockville, MD. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Hagan, L., & Thompson, H. (2014). It's good to talk: developing the communication skills of an adult with an intellectual disability through augmentative and alternative communication. British Journal Of Learning Disabilities, 42(1), 66-73. doi:10.1111/bld.12041

Higginbotham, D. J., & Engelke, C. R. (2013). A primer for doing talk-in-interaction research in augmentative and alternative communication. Augmentative and Alternative Communication29, 3-19.

Glennen, S.L. (1985). Training functional communication board use. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 1, 134-142.

McNaughton, D., & Light, J. (2013). The iPad and Mobile Technology Revolution: Benefits and Challenges for Individuals who require Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 29, 107-116

Light, Janice C. (1998).Building communicative competence with individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication. Baltimore : P.H. Brookes Pub. Co.

Light, J., Datillo, J., English, J., Gutierrez, L. and Hartz, J. (1992). Instructing facilitators to support the communication of people who use augmentative communication systems. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 35(4), 865-875.

Light, J. & McNaughton, D. (1993). Literacy and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC): The expectations and priorities of parents and teachers. Topics in Language Disorders, 13,2, 33-46.

Light, J., & McNaughton, D. (2013). Putting People First: Re-Thinking the Role of Technology in Augmentative and Alternative Communication Intervention. AAC: Augmentative & Alternative Communication, 29(4), 299-309. doi:10.3109/07434618.2013.848935

Mirenda, P. & Santogrossi, J. (1985). A prompt-free strategy to teach pictorial communication system use. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 1, 143-150.

Reid, S. (1995). Computers, assistive devices, and augmentative communication aids: Technology for social inclusion. The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 10, 80.

Romski, M., Sevcik, R. A., Adamson, L. B., Cheslock, M., Barker, R. M., & Bakeman, R. (2010). Randomized comparison of augmented and nonaugmented language interventions of for toddlers with developmental delays and their parents. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 53, 350-364.

Stuart, S. (1986). Expanding sequencing, turntaking, and timing skills through play acting. In S.W. Blackstone, (Ed.), Augmentative Communication: An Introduction, 389-396. Rockville MD: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.