Language, Literacy, and AAC: Translating Theory Into Practice Persons with severe congenital communication impairments have much greater difficulty than their peers in developing language skills, including written language (e.g., Berninger & Gans, 1986a, 1986b; Seidel, Chad wick, & Rutter, 1975; Smith, 1989, 1992). Some researchers estimate that between 50 and 100% of such individuals read and write at ... Article
Article  |   February 01, 2003
Language, Literacy, and AAC: Translating Theory Into Practice
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Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Normal Language Processing / Articles
Article   |   February 01, 2003
Language, Literacy, and AAC: Translating Theory Into Practice
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, February 2003, Vol. 12, 5-8. doi:10.1044/aac12.1.5
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, February 2003, Vol. 12, 5-8. doi:10.1044/aac12.1.5
Persons with severe congenital communication impairments have much greater difficulty than their peers in developing language skills, including written language (e.g., Berninger & Gans, 1986a, 1986b; Seidel, Chad wick, & Rutter, 1975; Smith, 1989, 1992). Some researchers estimate that between 50 and 100% of such individuals read and write at levels that are far below age expectations. For most, these literacy difficulties persist into adulthood and limit access to increasingly sophisticated AAC systems and other assistive technology that can support educational, vocational, and social participation throughout the lifespan.
Explanations for the literacy deficits of persons who use AAC as their primary means of communication include intrinsic or within-individual factors such as the type of disability, degree of physical impairment, and individual cognitive, linguistic, or perceptual abilities (e.g., Berninger & Gans, 1986a; Foley & Pollatsek, 1999; Smith, 1989; Vandervelden & Siegel, 2001). Extrinsic factors include access to, and features of, AAC systems, the amount and quality of language and literacy experiences, and parent, teacher, and learner expectations (Koppenhaver, Evans, & Yoder, 1991; Light & Kelford Smith, 1993).
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