J.J. Thistle, S.A. Holmes, M.M. Horn, & A.M. Reum




American Journal of Speech Language Pathology

Designing augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) displays that minimize operational demands is an important aspect of AAC intervention. The current study compared the effect of 2 display designs on the speed of locating target words by preschoolers without disabilities.

Across 5 sessions, participants in the consistent condition (n = 12) were asked to locate symbols on arrays that did not change, whereas participants in the variable condition (n = 12) utilized arrays where the symbols changed locations each session.

No difference in response time across conditions was noted during the 1st session; however, by the 5th session, participants in the consistent condition demonstrated significantly faster response times than participants in the variable condition.

The current study illustrated an advantage of consistent symbol location for preschoolers without disabilities. Clinical applications for incorporating consistent symbol location into AAC display design are discussed; however, replication with children who use AAC is critical.

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