A Review of Preservice Training in Augmentative and Alternative Communication for Speech-Language Pathologists, Special Education Teachers, and Occupational Therapists
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Speech-language pathologists, special education teachers, and occupational therapists are all likely to encounter individuals with complex communication needs who require augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) in clinical and educational practice. The research on preservice AAC training for these professionals was thus reviewed to investigate the adequacy and effectiveness of current practices. Results indicate that many preservice programs offer minimal AAC training, faculty members have minimal expertise in AAC, and the effectiveness of preservice programs in equipping professionals for entry-level AAC practice is unclear. Speech-language pathologists, special education teachers, and occupational therapists may thus be at risk of graduating with minimal to no exposure to AAC, with little knowledge or skill in AAC service provision, and may be unprepared for entry-level practice. Strengths and limitations of the reviewed research and future research directions are discussed, along with implications for improving preservice training in AAC.
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