Attitude and key word signing usage in support staff

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TitleAttitude and key word signing usage in support staff
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractBackground: Support staff may diverge in their use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and key word signing (KWS). AAC use is determined by multiple personal and environmental factors. In this study, the relation between KWS attitudes and usage was examined in support staff. Method: Twelve adults with an intellectual disability who use KWS were each filmed during a dyadic interaction with two professionals from their service: one had received first-hand (1HT) and the other second-hand KWS training (2HT). Each communication partner participated with only one client. The professionals’ sign usage was coded, and their attitude towards KWS was measured using a survey and single-category Implicit Association Test (IAT).Results: 1HT produced more signed utterances and distinct signs than 2HT, and this increase had a positive, linear relation to IAT scores. Explicit attitude did not correlate with KWS usage, but did significantly correlate with the discrepancy between intention and KWS usage. Conclusion: The train-the-trainer system may not reach its full potential as 2HT knew fewer distinct signs and consequently produced fewer signed utterances than 1HT. In contrast to implicit attitude, no relation was found between explicit attitude and KWS usage. Though the survey may provide valuable information, it may not fully capture the complex influences that shape AAC usage.
AuthorsRombouts, E., Maes B, and Zink I.
Year of Publication2016
PublicationResearch in Developmental Disabilities
ISSN0891-4222 (print) 1873-3376 (online)
Publisher DOI
Keywords (MeSH)adult, attitude, intellectual disability, interpersonal relations, knowledge, surveys & questionnaires