Supporting self-determination in AAC interventions by assessing preference for communication devices
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Self-determination applied to augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) interventions suggests the need to assess students' preferences for various communication devices. We describe a potentially promising methodology for enabling students to indicate preference for communication devices. Implementation of this methodology is illustrated in two controlled demonstrations. In the first demonstration, two adolescents with developmental disabilities were taught to use each of three voice-output communication aids (VOCAs) to request snacks. Following acquisition, all three VOCAs were simultaneously available across repeated opportunities and the student could select which one of the three devices to use. Both students demonstrated a consistent preference for one of the VOCAs. In the second demonstration, these same two students were provided with a choice between their preferred VOCA and a communication board containing line drawings. Both students demonstrated a preference for the VOCA over the communication board. These cases illustrate a potentially useful methodology that might enable non-speaking students with developmental disabilities to participate in communication device selection. 2005 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.