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AAC in facilities for adults with disabilities in Dortmund/ Germany - establishment, implementation and networking

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Purpose. In order to promote the establishment and implementation of AAC in facilities for adults with disabilities, this study, conducted in chosen facilities in Dortmund, focused the following questions:
-Which factors are beneficial for the AAC use?
-Which barriers are preventing an efficient implementation of AAC?
-Which binding institutional structures are contributing to the establishment and implementation of AAC?
-Which network structures are beneficial for the establishment and implementation of AAC?
-How does AAC enforce the participation of adults with complex communication needs?
These questions were designed to examine how AAC can lead to more self-determination and full participation of adults with complex communication needs in assisted living and sheltered workshop facilities.
Method. The research partners were a sheltered workshop, a day activity center for persons with disabilities and a service center, where AAC users give peer advice. In order to get a triangulation, expert interviews, participatory observations and a group discussion were examined. The collected data was categorized, compared and analyzed. The definition of the categories is based on the participation model of Beukelman and Mirenda and the ICF of the WHO.
Results. Main factors for the successful implementation of AAC are: awareness, knowledge, as well as institutional structures and structural parameters.
Conclusion. Considering that the establishment and implementation of AAC requires a long period, time and financial resources, it was possible to create general recommendations for the implementation of AAC in living and working facilities for persons with disabilities.

Author(s):

Ingo Bosse    
TU Dortmund University
Germany

AAC Project Group of TU Dortmund University    
TU Dortmund University
Germany

 

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