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“Just-in-time” programming: developmental appropriateness and implications for beginning communicators

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Two studies are considered as they add to current knowledge regarding improving AAC system design for beginning communicators through developmentally appropriate features. The studies evaluate features that allow for “just-in-time” (JIT) programming. JIT features support the programming of relevant vocabulary during the contexts in which the vocabulary is relevant by decreasing programming time and demands. JIT technology and programming may be one way to enhance the developmental appropriateness of AAC for beginning communicators. The first investigation utilized a group design to compare typically developing toddlers’ accuracy completing different steps of programming given JIT features. The second study utilized a single-subject methodology to explore the effects of JIT features and programming on the communicative interaction of five adolescents who were beginning communicators. Typical toddlers were able to participate with high levels of success on some JIT programming steps. All five adolescents who were beginning communicators demonstrated an increase in participation in communication interaction, suggesting that provision of JIT technology and programming supported communication for these individuals, perhaps because of the developmental appropriateness suggested by the toddlers. The adolescents also demonstrated initial evidence of success participating in JIT programming. JIT programming and the increased participation in both communicative interactions and steps involved in programming have important implications for system design, language development, and self-determination for individuals who are beginning communicators, including older beginning communicators.

Author(s):

Christine Holyfield    
Pennsylvania State University
United States

Kathryn Drager    
Pennsylvania State University
United States

Jessica Caron    
Pennsylvania State Univeristy
United States

Janice Light    
Pennsylvania State Univeristy
United States

 

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