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Can we, should we and how? Considering stakeholder perspectives to launch AAC Innovations

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Aim: The primary aim of this presentation is to explore innovative designs for AAC interfaces and evaluate whether such interfaces can be achieved with current technology, whether they have value and how they can be realized. The authors will share examples of interfaces relative to a daily communication mode, play mode, and incentive system within an AAC interface.
Method: The presentation will be supported by data from two focus groups. The first being an in-person focus group with children without disabilities and their parents. The second being an online focus group with speech-language pathologists and parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Qualitative data were collected through scripted discussion of benefits and drawbacks of designs. Poll questions were also used to identify general opinions and themes.
Results: The results revealed that parents, children, and SLPs desire a variety of features that may or may not currently be integrated with AAC interfaces. These features include animated feedback, use of videos and games to support language learning and incentive systems.
Conclusion: Based on the findings from the focus groups, the authors will discuss specific interface innovations that received the greatest amount of support from stakeholder groups. Results of these study support the innovation of AAC interfaces and provoke exploration into whether such changes should be made and how SLPs can work with developers to evoke innovative designs to improve outcomes for individuals with complex communication needs. The results of this study display the importance in including key stakeholders in the design process.


Jamie Boster    
Ohio University
United States

John McCarthy    
Ohio University
United States

David Hajjar    
Ohio University
United States


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