2016 TASH Conference has ended
Each year, the TASH Conference strengthens the disability field by connecting attendees to innovative information and resources, facilitating connections between stakeholders within the disability movement, and helping attendees reignite their passion for an inclusive world. This year’s conference theme, “Gateway to Equity,” explores inclusive communities, schools, and workplaces that support people with disabilities, including those with complex support needs, in living a fair, just, and balanced life. Return to TASH website.
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Thursday, December 1 • 1:30pm - 2:20pm
Naturally-Occurring Interactions of Elementary Students With Complex Communication Needs Across School Settings LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

The aim of this study was to describe the naturally-occurring communication opportunities of students using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. We observed twenty-three students for a total of 116 hours across general education, special education, and non-academic settings. For each communication event, we recorded the setting, communication partner, student communication mode, availability of the aided AAC system, independent or prompted responses, and the consequence. Communication events primarily occurred with adults providing opportunities for students to respond in the special education classrooms. Less than 10% of events, students were observed spontaneously initiating toward adults or peers. On average, all students were presented with 17 opportunities to respond per hour. However, during 54% of these opportunities, the student did not have access to his/her AAC system. After this session, participants will be able to define the problem with the supports students using AAC encounter in the schools After this session, participants will be able to discuss the critical need for more communication supports for students who use AAC in elementary schools After this session, participants will be able to summarize current research highlighting the current trend of communication opportunity in schools for students with complex communication needs. After this session, participants will be able to engage in conversation with their school staff to ensure better ways for students that use AAC to communicate across school settings and with different partners. After this session, participants will be able to identify ways in which they can engage in behavior change themselves to ensure quality communication opportunities for students who use AAC.


Natalie Andzik

Assistant Professor, Northern Illinois University
avatar for Yun-Ching Chung

Yun-Ching Chung

Associate Professor, Illinois State University
Yun-Ching Chung is an associate professor in the department of special education at Illinois State University. Her research interests include peer interactions, inclusion outcomes of students who use augmentative and alternative communication, and paraprofessional facilitation.

Thursday December 1, 2016 1:30pm - 2:20pm CST
Wabash Cannonball 1820 Market Street, St. Louis, MO 63103