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Presuming Competence: Supporting Communication for All Students!

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If the notion is that we presume competence with all students, then there should be no presumed restrictions on the opportunities we present to students. Students of all ages need the benefits of both fluency within conversations and the ability to generate language at any given time. First, this session will demonstrate how adaptations to any communication system can help students be productive communication partners and enhance their learning and social communication experiences. While an emphasis will be on how students with the most significant disabilities and/or access issues can be effective communicators, these strategies will be appropriate for all students who use AAC. Next, strategies for teaching specific discourse skills through lessons will be shared. Infusion of the same discussion elements in written communication will show how students can successfully demonstrate knowledge and be a productive member of classrooms. Finally, when and how to model generative vs conversational language will be discussed. Case examples will demonstrate student’s ability to have both rich conversations and be generative communicators. Participants will receive sample lesson activities teaching these skills.


Pati King-DeBaun    
Creative Communicating
United States


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