Author(s)

Dean Sutherland, Larah van der Meer, Jeff Sigafoos, Brigit Mirfin-Veitch, Paul Milner, Mark F. O’Reilly, & Giulio E. Lancioni

Year

2013

Publication

Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities

We surveyed New Zealand residential facilities/assisted-living programs for adults with intellectual disabilities (ID) to document the need for, and provision of, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Organizations (n = 100) registered to provide residential care/assisted-living to adults with ID across New Zealand were invited to complete a paper or online survey. Fifty seven organizations representing 127 separate facilities/assisted living programs responded. The facilities/programs accommodated 2,356 adults and employed 3,062 staff. Nearly one-third (28.8 %) of the adults were identified as candidates for AAC intervention. However, most staff had limited or no AAC experience and perceived considerable need for training in this area. We conclude there is substantial need for AAC intervention among adults with ID in New Zealand residential facilities/assisted-living programs. To facilitate this, support staff may need training to ensure effective interaction with AAC users and competence in providing effective AAC intervention.

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