Authentic AAC:
Implementing Communication Systems for Autonomy & Connection

Are you an SLP or OT who wants to support their nonspeaking clients, but finds AAC intimidating? Maybe you're doing AAC work, but strategies you've learned don't align with your values? Too much compliance, not enough connection?
 

I have designed a course just for you! It took me over a decade to really learn how to do AAC well. Lots of training, mentorship, and experience. I've taken all that learning and put it into this course to speed up the process for you!

Registered for CEUs! 

  • 1.2 ASHA CEUs

  • 12 contact hours

  • Emergent communicators of all ages

  • Across settings with specific considerations for school-based implementation

  • Self-paced, access for 6 months

  • Group discounts for 3+, email admin@learnplaythrive.com

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Course Modules

Module 1: Introduction to AAC

New to AAC? Maybe all the terms and options feel overwhelming. In this module, you’ll learn all the fundamentals to get you and your clients started on their AAC journey. 

Objectives:

  • Analyze the impact of power imbalance in working with clients who are non-speaking.

  • Evaluate the role of symbolic AAC within the frameworks of multimodal communication and communication autonomy.

Module 2: Communication Autonomy

Do the AAC interventions you’ve tried end up feeling inauthentic? Get the information you need to reframe your AAC teaching. Learn all about communication autonomy, requirements for autonomy, and how focusing on it will allow for real connection with your client and outcomes you have been looking for.


  • Differentiate autonomy from independence when implementing AAC.

  • Evaluate compliance-based approaches for teaching AAC with an emphasis on how these approaches impact interest, motivation, connection, body autonomy, and long-term outcomes.

Module 3: AAC Theory

You know your client needs AAC, but are they ready? What skills and tools do they need? How do you know if the AAC system you have is enough? Get all the answers so you can make decisions and confidently navigate these conversations with families and teams.

  • Critique the “readiness” model for AAC implementation, including the impact that having a complex body can have on demonstration of early language and communication skills.

  • Differentiate the needs of aided language learners from typical language learners.

  • Analyze individual AAC systems and their features to determine if they provide sufficient features to support communication autonomy.

Model 4: AAC Application

Do you wonder if your client has the right AAC system? Struggling to understand or implement an “expert’s” recommendations? Feeling ineffective? Learn how to determine if an AAC system is the right match for a particular learner. Find out all about AAC modeling and how to do it to achieve the greatest results for your learners. 

  1. Evaluate a client’s individual AAC access needs and implement feature matching to determine appropriate technology trials.

  2. Create an AAC implementation plan for an individual client, including strategies with an understanding of aided language input, communication skill requirements, and communication autonomy.

  

Module 5: Communication Partners

The success of AAC users often depends on the strength of their communication partners! Learn what you can do to be a great communication partner and how to effectively train others to do the same.  

  • Analyze at least 3 access barriers and generate a plan to overcome them to ensure access to communication.

  • Create a plan to train communication partners to implement an AAC strategy to address an individual client’s learning need.

Module 6: Encouraging Expression

Move beyond prompting that limits communication autonomy and does not respect body autonomy. Learn strategies that work to encourage and expand expression through AAC while respecting and connecting authentically with your clients.

  • Analyze the impact of prompting on language learning and autonomous communication.

  • Plan feedback strategies to support individual clients in growing their expression while maintaining a focus on communication autonomy and connection.

Module 7: Schools

AAC doesn’t just happen in speech therapy! Service delivery, goals, data! Learn how to make it work in schools.

  • Critique service delivery models and identify models that are likely to support autonomous communication.

  • Critique goals and data collection procedures to identify procedures to support emergent AAC communicators in the school setting.