The RERC on AAC is a collaborative center committed to advancing knowledge and producing innovative engineering solutions in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). The RERC on AAC will support a research and development program that addresses three areas of rehabilitation science and engineering:
- Improving access to technologies through exploration of innovative approaches and through integration of multi-modalities;
- Developing innovative language support technologies, including natural language processing and computer-mediation, to support effective communication for children and adults with limited access to language;
- Improving the human computer interface to reduce cognitive visual processing demands and enhance communication performance.
We also will support a range of training and dissemination activities. Our goal is that the AAC technologies and knowledge generated by the RERC on AAC will enable individuals with complex communication needs to achieve the basic human right of communication, and to maximize their participation in education, employment, health and community activities.
Wilkinson et al presented research on methods of optimizing AAC display designs for individuals with developmental or acquired disabilities at ASHA 2017
Kelsey Mandak presented research on the use of VSDs with dynamic texts to promote the transition from the use of graphic AAC symbols to orthographic text for individuals with ASD at ASHA 2017
Kelsey Mandak and Janice Light reported that SLPs perceived family-centered services as being implemented more often than families perceived.
Jessica Gormley and Janice Light discuss the findings from an online focus group of SLPs who work in the inpatient rehabilitation setting and provide clinical services to individuals with complex communication needs (CCN).
Tara O’Neill et al. examined the effect of navigation menu location (i.e., top, bottom, left, or right) on patterns of visual attention within visual scene displays by individuals with developmental disabilities.
Ashley McCoy and David McNaughton summarize the published research on training communication partners to provide a PECS intervention, including training methods, as well as immediate and long-term training effects.
RERC Partners presented at the ASHA 2017 Convention in Los Angeles, California
David McNaughton discussed the work of persons who use AAC, as well as Penn State faculty and graduate students, at a Transition conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Results suggest that by simplifying the operational requirements of AAC apps, the programming time is reduced, which may allow partners to better support individuals who use AAC
Boyle et al describe the results of a pilot study intervention using digital texts including VSDs and T2L features with children with language delays in an inclusive preschool setting.