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Using the Communication Matrix Suite to Improve Educational Goals and Outcomes for AAC Users

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AIM: The online Communication Matrix suite (www.communicationmatrix.org) includes a free communication skills assessment service, a training webinar, and an option to create a customized clinical report with educational recommendations. We conducted a three year research project to determine whether use of the complete suite has a beneficial effect on the development of communication-related educational goals and student performance for children with complex communication needs (CCN).

METHOD: Our study involved random assignment of participants to an experimental group that used the Communication Matrix suite to help them develop new educational goals or to a control group that used other approaches (i.e. “business as usual”) to create educational goals. Participants were triads of a teacher or speech-language pathologist (SLP), a parent, and a student with CCN.

RESULTS: We will report on data from the two groups of participants, highlighting the following measures and results:
- High satisfaction with educational goals of parents in both groups
- Higher goal attainment achieved by students in the experimental group
- Higher quality of educational goals developed by professionals in the experimental group after they had used the Communication Matrix suite.

CONCLUSION: The data confirmed that professionals in the experimental group wrote higher quality goals that were more likely to be attained by students. We will share study data, describe the practical tools we used as outcome measures, and discuss ways in which using the Communication Matrix suite by professionals and parents appears to benefit students with CCN.

Author(s):

Charity Rowland    
Oregon Health & Science University
United States

Emily Quinn    
Vanderbilt University
United States

Alexandria Cook    
Oregon Health & Science University
United States

 

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