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Alternative and augmentative communication in higher education - AAC awareness

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BACKGROUND:
Alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) represents a very large field of knowledge from different sciences and it is a multidisciplinary field that requires skills that transcend the typical discipline-specific training received by speech-language pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, educators, and other professionals, who may serve on an AAC team (ASHA, 2002).
For students of different study programes, this knowledge is crucial and brings more challenges, and for some can be a complicated and frustrating experience when they have to work with a child with complex communication needs. Without adequate preparation and education students may face serious difficulties when they enter into practice.
AIM:
The aim of this paper is to increase the understanding of the need of AAC as a module within initial education at the Faculty of Education in Slovenia.
METHOD:
The study about basic knowledge among different groups of students (140 students) about AAC was explored.
RESULTS:
The paper presents the results of research, in which we determined what knowledge and skills students at the Faculty of Education in Slovenia need about AAC. The results of the study indicated the huge need of AAC course to be an obligate or optional professional subject course in graduate or master study program.
CONCLUSION:
The more we teach students about different methods of AAC more competences they will achieve in AAC and enable AAC users to be successfully included in educational system and society.


Key words: AAC, students in higher education, initial education, competences

Author(s):

DAMJANA KOGOVSEK    
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education
Slovenia

MIHAELA VOVK    
Slovenia

INGRID ZOLGAR    
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education
Slovenia

JERNEJA NOVSAK BRCE    
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education
Slovenia

MARTINA OZBIC    
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education
Slovenia

 

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