Liesl Harper

Whole school approach to language immersion using augmentative and alternative communication for students with multiple disabilities and complex communication needs

This study responds to the challenges inherent in providing communication systems for students with multiple disabilities and complex communication needs attending a special school. The majority of students attending the special school are unable to use speech to meet their daily communication needs. Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) provides students with functional communication which facilitates their ability to participate in their daily lives, and engage with curriculum and learning. There are many barriers to establishing individualised AAC systems, these include: access to skilled speech language pathologists and time required to determine, trial and get training in the AAC approach. In response to these barriers the study school has implemented a whole school approach to language immersion using AAC. Research is required to determine the features and effectiveness of this whole school approach to AAC implementation.

Principal Supervisor: A/Prof Beth Saggers

Associate Supervisor: Dr Julie Dillon-Wallace