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VOCA

a voice output communication aid (VOCA) is a device whose main function is to use output speech as a means of communication - described more fully on the Communication Matters website http://www.communicationmatters.org.uk/glossary-term/voice-output-communication-aid

Happy and excited: Perceptions of using digital technology and social media by young people who use augmentative and alternative communication (short summary)

Young
people's
use
of
technology
 
and
social
media

The authors used semi-structured interviews to investigate how adolescents and young adults who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) feel about the use of digital technology (DT) and online social media (OSM).

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Fundamentals of the ImPAACT Program (summary)

Training
communication partners

Background

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Fundamentals of the ImPAACT Program (short summary)

Training
communication partners

This paper provides a brief overview of some of the elements of the ImPAACT (Improving Partner Applications of Augmentative Communication Techniques) program, devised by the authors to support the development of skills in communication partners working with people who use AAC (PWUAAC). Two elements, instructional techniques and structuring interventions are discussed and examples given. Links to several other papers with related content are given.

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Mentoring to support people learning to use speech generating devices (short summary)

Mentoring
for
people
learning
 
to
use
speech
devices

Three people who were beginning to use MINspeak systems on their speech generating devices were offer mentoring by experienced MINspeak users. The authors found that the mentoring was generally beneficial in increasing the number and range of words used, but did not significantly improve the grammatical accuracy of the language structures used. They suggest the latter areas requires specific teaching.


Added to site March 2014


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Mentoring to support people learning to use speech generating devices (summary)

Mentoring
for
people
learning
 
to
use
speech
devices

Background People who are given speech generating devices (SGDs) do not always go on to communicate effectively with them. This might be due to a number of factors, including lack of opportunity to observe other people using SGDs.

Few people who are beginning to use SGDs receive any input in the mode of communication they are expected to use.

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Speaker Transfer in Children’s Peer Conversation (short summary)

Children’s
conversation
using
AAC

Two eleven year old boys, one a VOCA user, one without communication difficulties, were videoed having a non-directed conversation. Their conversation was analysed with particular focus on turn-taking within the interaction and how the end of VOCA users turns was indicated and understood.

Speaker Transfer in Children’s Peer Conversation (summary)

Children's
conversation
using
AAC

Background In conversations in which one speaker uses a communication aid the AAC users contributions are generally more slowly produced and might lack other subtle features such as intonation and changes in volume. These factors have an effect on the way in which conversational turns are managed between communication partners. The use of communication aids, particularly by children with complex motor disabilities can lead to delays between the end of a natural speaker's conversational turn and the beginning of the VOCA users spoken output.

AAC and social interaction (short summary)

AAC
 
and
social
interaction

This study compared the use of a picture exchange system and a speech-generating device for a fifteen-year-old boy with autism and Down syndrome. The authors were interested in finding out whether teaching an AAC system could improve social interaction. Trevor, the boy in this study, successfully learned how to use both types of AAC systems to request his favourite snacks in response to prompts from a communication partner. Trevor did not clearly prefer one type of AAC over the other, and he remained socially withdrawn during these interactions.

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AAC and social interaction (summary)

AAC
 
and
social
interaction

Background Many children with developmental disabilities who use AAC have deficits in social skills, or the ability to comfortably interact with others. While previous research in the field of paediatric AAC has shown that children often prefer one type of AAC over another, little research has been done on the potential effect of AAC interventions on social interactions of children with developmental disabilities.

What was the aim of the study? This study investigated the effects of AAC interventions of the social interactions of one child.

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Mobile Technology: Benefits and Challenges (short summary)

Mobile
Technology
 
-
Benefits
 
and
Challenges

The authors reviewed the development of AAC apps for iPads and other mobile technology. They suggested several benefits which might be gained from the use of these, but also identified a number of potential problems. Some areas for future research and development in this area are suggested.


Added to site January 2014


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