Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects

Year of Award

2018

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

College

College of Education & Allied Health

Department

Communication Disorders and Deaf Education

First Advisor

Gale B. Rice

Second Advisor

Carmen Russell

Third Advisor

Barbara Meyer

Keywords

children, parents, user impact, AAC, frequency

Abstract

Children who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to communicate face a variety of challenges with regard to acquiring and functionally using their communication system. This is particularly true for children who use multi-modal AAC systems or high-tech speech generating devices (SGDs), which may be costly and complicated. Families of children who use AAC are naturally the people who are most directly involved with their use in the home and. in many cases, at school and in the community. Thus, much of the responsibility for helping the child learn to use the device is theirs and many families opt for devices that are high tech and complex. This study was conducted in order to determine how much training caretakers of individuals who use AAC are given and to demonstrate if a there is a positive correlation between caretaker training and device-use within the home. In addition, the overall accuracy of output selections demonstrated by device users was also investigated. Both sets of data were then compared to examine the relationship between caretaker training and overall device accuracy displayed by users. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected throughout the investigation. In order to determine the amount of training caretakers received on AAC devices, ordinal data was collected via questionnaires. Caretaker perceptions of their child's use of the AAC device were also collected through questionnaires. Additionally, the accuracy of device use by AAC users was assessed in technical sessions in which participants were asked to initiate a greeting, locate specific pages/selections on their devices, and make requests using a provided overlay of symbols.

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

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In Copyright