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Core vocabulary for students with significant cognitive disabilities: Essential tools, teaching strategies and assessment components

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This session will review an implementation program for a core vocabulary approach to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) for students with severe disabilities. The Center for Literacy and Disability Studies (CLDS) at UNC, Chapel Hill extended the research on high frequency, core vocabulary by analyzing and assigning relative values to vocabulary based on its utility in academic environments and activities associated with the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). This work resulted in a research-based universal core vocabulary to support meaningful communication and interaction in academic contexts. Efforts are underway to develop and validate a comprehensive set of tools and services needed for effective implementation of the universal core vocabulary by teachers, speech-language pathologists and related professionals using a multi-tiered system for augmenting language (mSAL). Preliminary evidence of validity through case examples at the individual child and classroom levels will be provided through video examples of students and teachers, as well as follow-up discussion about the implementation tools, training materials and assessment measures being used and refined. Multiple versions of the universal core vocabulary will be presented that include a range of platforms and levels of complexity. Instructional strategies and program components will be presented to build understanding of the significance of symbolic communication to academic engagement and success for students with severe disabilities.

Author(s):

Lori Geist    
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
United States

Karen Erickson    
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
United States

Penelope Hatch    
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
United States

Lisa Erwin-Davidson    
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
United States

Claire Greer    
The Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
United States

 

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