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An investigation of the efficacy of direct and indirect AAC service provision via telepractice

Nerissa C Hall, University of Massachusetts Amherst


There is a growing population of individuals using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) in need of evidence-based intervention from highly qualified personnel. However, not all speech pathology programs offer AAC coursework and/or practicum opportunities, and practicing speech-language pathologists (SLPs) report low levels of confidence and expertise in working with individuals using AAC. Therefore, there is a need to develop more innovative pre-professional training programs to better equip the next generation of SLPs with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide high-quality, evidence-based AAC interventions. Telepractice is emerging as an inventive way to provide both direct and indirect intervention services, and could theoretically be used to support pre-professional training by providing clinicians the opportunity to engage in direct services with individuals using AAC concurrently while receiving supervision from a skilled mentor. A thorough review of the literature revealed limited information and data regarding tele-AAC for direct and indirect service delivery. This investigation examined the feasibility and effectiveness of utilizing telepractice to train pre-professional clinicians regarding AAC interventions while in the context of service delivery both on-site and via telepractice. A single-subject, multiple baseline design was employed to examine the impact of real-time supervisory guidance offered via telepractice to pre-professional clinicians (Active Consultation) on the performance of the clinicians and the clients in each service delivery condition. Data was gathered on the number of target language acts modeled by the clinicians and generated by the clients when Active Consultation was provided. The results supported the use of telepractice for supervision, and as a service delivery method for AAC users.

Subject Area

Speech therapy|Special education

Recommended Citation

Hall, Nerissa C, "An investigation of the efficacy of direct and indirect AAC service provision via telepractice" (2013). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3589032.