Assistive Technology Supports for Literacy Instruction Students with complex communication needs (CCN), particularly those who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), have much greater difficulty than their peers in developing language skills, including written language (e.g., Berninger & Gans, 1986a, 1986b; Blockberger & Sutton, 2003; Smith, 1989, 1992). In fact, previous research has suggested that ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2006
Assistive Technology Supports for Literacy Instruction
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Beth Foley
    Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education, Utah State University, Logan, UT
  • Amy Staples
    Department of Special Education, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Normal Language Processing / Articles
Article   |   June 01, 2006
Assistive Technology Supports for Literacy Instruction
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, June 2006, Vol. 15, 15-21. doi:10.1044/aac15.2.15
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, June 2006, Vol. 15, 15-21. doi:10.1044/aac15.2.15
Students with complex communication needs (CCN), particularly those who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), have much greater difficulty than their peers in developing language skills, including written language (e.g., Berninger & Gans, 1986a, 1986b; Blockberger & Sutton, 2003; Smith, 1989, 1992). In fact, previous research has suggested that most students with CCN reach adulthood without acquiring functional literacy skills, even when they clearly possess the cognitive and linguistic capacity to do so (Foley & Pollatsek, 1999; Koppenhaver, 2000; Koppenhaver, Evans, & Yoder, 1991). While intrinsic factors such as the type of disability, degree of physical impairment, and individual cognitive, linguistic, or perceptual abilities certainly contribute to literacy learning difficulties (e.g., Berninger & Gans, 1986a; Foley & Pollatsek; Smith, 1989, 1992; Vandervelden & Siegel, 2001), extrinsic factors such as access to AAC systems, the amount and quality of language and literacy experiences, and parent, teacher, and learner expectations are also extremely important (Erickson, Koppenhaver, Yoder, & Nance, 1997; Koppenhaver et al.; Light & Kelford Smith, 1993).
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