All Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects

Year of Award



Master of Science (MS)


College of Education & Allied Health


Communication Disorders and Deaf Education

First Advisor

Gale B. Rice

Second Advisor

Lynne Shields

Third Advisor

Carmen Russell


AAC, Family, children, parents, quality, activities, ASHA


The implementation of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) is intended to facilitate communication and to improve overall quality of life (QOL) of individuals with complex communication needs. QOL can be described as an individual’s ability to participate in desired school, home, community, vocational, and recreational activities. A strong measure of successful AAC intervention is the degree to which its use positively impacts the individual’s ability to participate in desired social interactions and activities. Successful implementation should be reflected in increased participation and overall QOL. Allowing individuals, including children, to self-report their QOL provides essential information about intervention related successes and challenges. However, little research has been conducted assessing the QOL of children who use AAC. This study assessed the QOL of children who use AAC based on comparisons between user QOL self-ratings, sibling self-ratings, and caregiver ratings of the perceived QOL of the child who uses AAC. Thirty-six participants were divided into three groups: children who use AAC, siblings of children who use AAC, and parents/caregivers. Children who use AAC and their siblings self-rated their QOL by completing the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Quality of Communication Life Scale (ASHA QCL; Paul et al., 2004). Caregivers also completed the ASHA QCL to rate their perception of the QOL of their child who uses AAC. QOL rating data was compared within and between groups. A final comparison was then made between family unit QOL ratings. Implications are stated. Limitation of the study and calls for future research are discussed.

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In Copyright