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.
Boyle et al. completed a systematic review to investigate the impact of shared reading on early language and literacy skills for children with ASD.
Thiessen and Beukelman (2019) Investigated the learning styles and motivation of individuals without prior exposure to AAC
The RERC on AAC partnered with a student engineering Learning Factory team at Penn State University in the spring of 2019
Mandak et al. completed a systematic review to investigate the effects of instruction on single-word reading for individuals who use AAC.
Richardson et al describe the employment experiences of 7 individuals with ASD who use AAC in the workplace.
Gormley and Light describe the experiences of 11 SLPs who work with people with complex communication needs within the inpatient rehabilitation setting
At the 2019 ATIA Conference, McNaughton et al. shared progress updates on the many research, development, and training activities of the RERC on AAC.
At the 2019 ATIA Conference, Fried-Oken and colleagues discussed the Cognitive Demands Checklist for AAC—a tool to help identify the attention, memory, and executive function demands of different AAC technologies.
At the 2019 ATIA Conference, Caron and colleagues shared findings from a study in which SLPs were trained in adapted literacy instruction from online modules.
McNaughton et al. describe strategies to build capacity and awareness in the AAC field to ensure appropriate AAC supports are provided.