Orit Hetzroni & Ovetta Harris




Augmentative and Alternative Communication

The demographic composition of the United States is changing as the country becomes more culturally diverse. Children who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) belong to all cultural groups. Therefore, we need to obtain information about culturally appropriate service delivery to children needing speech-language services including AAC users. The purpose of this paper is to provide methods of viewing cultural aspects of AAC. A definition and description of cultural development are given followed by a cultural perspective of the development of language. A communicative competency model and an ethnographic interviewing and observational tool are described and recommended as proposed ways of gathering specific information about the culture of individual AAC users. Insights toward an understanding of cultural communicative competence for AAC users are also presented. In this paper, some practical applications are summarized for practitioners working in the field.

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