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Beliefs and habits: staff experiences with key word signing in special schools and group residential homes

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TitleBeliefs and habits: staff experiences with key word signing in special schools and group residential homes
Publication TypeJournal Article
AbstractEven though use of aided augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) by staff has been extensively researched, few studies relate to unaided AAC strategies such as key word signing (KWS). We explored the KWS views of two groups: direct support staff in group residential homes and teachers from individual semi-structured interviews with five direct support staff and five teachers using thematic analysis. Participants discussed consistency of KWS use and reasons for implementing KWS. Compared to direct support staff, teachers described more use of KWS throughout the day with more individuals with intellectual disability. Teachers discussed use of KWS to facilitate students’ present and future interactions, while direct support staff primarily discussed immediate effects. Participants experienced KWS implementation as a learning process and aimed to turn the use of manual signs into a routine habit. This required considerable self-monitoring, and the effort that this continuous self-feedback required, combined with environmental factors, could hinder KWS implementation. These preliminary findings suggest that preservice KWS training and on-site KWS assistance may need to be enhanced.
AuthorsRombouts, E., Maes B, and Zink I.
Year of Publication2017
PublicationAAC
Volume33
Issue2
Pages87-96
ISSN0743-4618 (print) 1477-3848 (online)
Publisher DOIhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07434618.2017.1301550
Keywords (MeSH)adult, child, intellectual disability, manual communication, research
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