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Augmentative and alternative communication practices: a descriptive study of the perceptions of South African speech-language therapists

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TitleAugmentative and alternative communication practices: a descriptive study of the perceptions of South African speech-language therapists
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractSpeech-language therapists (SLTs) have direct contact with a wide variety of individuals who require augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and they are therefore considered to have a primary role in the assessment, selection, and implementation of AAC symbols, techniques, aids, and strategies. Limited information is available with regard to SLTs’ practices in the field of AAC, and there is a particular paucity of information about developing country contexts such as South Africa. The aim of this study was to determine how South African SLTs perceive their current AAC practices. Specifically, the study aimed to investigate SLTs’ assessment and intervention practices, their choice and use of graphic symbols, and display layouts for aided AAC systems. An online survey was developed, using the Qualtrics Research SuiteTM online survey software. The survey included open-ended questions (analyzed using thematic analysis) and closed questions (analyzed using descriptive statistics). The responses indicated that SLTs in South Africa currently use a limited variety of assessment and intervention approaches. The data suggest that current practices are informed by previous experience with various technologies and AAC systems and that the primary caseloads of SLTs do not appear to inform specific approaches to assessment and AAC implementation.
AuthorsDada, S., Murphy Y., and Tönsing K.
Year of Publication2017
PublicationAAC
Volume33
Issue4
Pages189-200
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1080/07434618.2017.1375979
Keywords (MeSH)assessment, communication aids for disabled, developing countries, research, South Africa, speech therapy, surveys & questionnaires
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