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All together now: participation and group work!!

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For actual learning to take place, students need to be active participants. Participation as defined by the World Health Organization means “involvement in a life situation”. Many of our students with special communication needs- both in Special Education and inclusive settings- need the right amount of support and tools to participate in order to learn some specific skills; very often, those will be skills underlying all aspects of the curriculum rather than specific to areas of content. Among them, we can identify initiation, cause and effect, turn taking, choice-making, recurrence, persistence in the task, social closeness, task completion, collaborative work.
For participation to occur and the student to be able to thus practice the mentioned skills, activities need to be set in a joyful and errorless mode. It is most important that students feel engaged and experience success.
In this workshop, a number of possibilities for group work on different curriculum areas involving participation for all students will be explored. Activities, tools and general means will vary according to the student´s strengths and possibilities. The use of communication resources (both non symbolic and symbolic), as well as low and high tech assistive technology devices in the context of individualized participation within group tasks and lessons will be illustrated.


Caroline Musselwhite    
AAC Intervention
United States

Alejandra Gil    

Veronica Crotto    


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