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AAC Success: Building Competent Communicators in the Classroom

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This session will describe an implementation framework designed to support the development and use of language and AAC for students with complex communication needs in classrooms. It is a set of strategically designed toolboxes containing research-based, field-tested, and user-friendly strategies with the flexibility as either an initial language intervention tool prior to an AAC evaluation or as a comprehensive implementation model for the development of language and AAC, or both. A key element of the framework is the use of a core vocabulary approach to language learning and communication. The first toolbox begins by developing a communication mindset, acquiring shared knowledge of AAC, embracing a universal core vocabulary coupled with explicitly teaching those core words, followed by providing aided language input, intentionally creating communicative opportunities to finally being able to define and exhibit communicative competence as represented in a student’s communication profile. Concrete examples of educational teams implementing various aspects of the framework, student successes, team reflections, resources and sample forms will be shared.


Marlene R. Cummings    
Oakland Schools
United States

Amy Devin    
Oxford Schools
United States

Lauren Pawlowski    
Oxford Schools
United States


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