Tips for Developing Literacy for Users of AAC As several researchers and authors have noted, literacy is important to individuals who use AAC, as it enhances communication, academic, and vocational opportunities (Beukelman & Mirenda, 2005; Koppenhaver & Yoder, 1992; Light & Kent-Walsh, 2003; Mirenda & Erickson, 2000; Smith, 2005; Sturm & Clendon, 2004). Literacy skills should be ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2008
Tips for Developing Literacy for Users of AAC
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Amy Finch
    Fort Hays State University, Hays, KS
  • Julie Scherz
    Wichita State University, Wichita, KS
Article Information
Development / Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Normal Language Processing / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Articles
Article   |   June 01, 2008
Tips for Developing Literacy for Users of AAC
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, June 2008, Vol. 17, 78-83. doi:10.1044/aac17.2.78
SIG 12 Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, June 2008, Vol. 17, 78-83. doi:10.1044/aac17.2.78
As several researchers and authors have noted, literacy is important to individuals who use AAC, as it enhances communication, academic, and vocational opportunities (Beukelman & Mirenda, 2005; Koppenhaver & Yoder, 1992; Light & Kent-Walsh, 2003; Mirenda & Erickson, 2000; Smith, 2005; Sturm & Clendon, 2004). Literacy skills should be a focus for every child who presents limited and/or significant speech impairments (SSI). This brief article provides tips for literacy development beginning with emerging literacy activities and moving into conventional literacy activities.
For typically developing children, emergent literacy development is described as beginning at birth and continuing until the age of 5 when children gradually move into conventional literacy development (Justice, 2006a). Although literacy development involves both reading and writing, the current article will focus on the area of reading. The National Reading Panel (2000) has outlined the five building blocks to reading, which include (a) phonemic awareness or the ability to manipulate sounds within words; (b) phonics or the ability to make and use phoneme-grapheme relationships; (c) vocabulary in the modalities of listening, speaking, reading, and writing; (d) fluency or the ability to read fluently and accurately; and (e) text comprehension or the ability to understand what is read and to actively use strategies to enhance reading comprehension (Armbruster, Lehr, & Osborn, 2001).
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