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Establishing a Virtual Community of Practice: Enhancing AAC Intervention through Online Collaboration

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AIM: The investigators will introduce the Communication Matrix Community, a virtual community of practice. The goal of our Community is to improve clinical and educational programs for children that require AAC, by supporting professional development.
METHOD: The Communication Matrix Community was developed through the support of a grant from the US Department of Education. Five major features of the Community of Practice were established, including: (a) The Forum: a navigation dashboard . (b) The Community Library: a collection of exceptional posts, (c) Curators: featured members that guide discussion on a specific theme or topic, (d) Tags : hashtags used to label posts with specific themes or topics and (e) Shared Science: communication profiles of rare disorders.
RESULTS: Since the launch of the Community in October of 2014, the number of users has steadily increased. Registered members include speech-language pathologists (46%), educators (22%), other professionals (16%), and family members (4%). CONCLUSION: The Communication Matrix Community supports professional development by leveraging the expertise and experiences of interventionists, teachers, and parents to improve intervention and assessment for individuals who require AAC.


Emily Quinn    
Vanderbilt University
United States

Charity Rowland    
Oregon Health & Science University

Alexandria Cook    
Oregon Health and Science University


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