Course Introduction

All too often, when an AAC user is not being successful with the device, you hear the responsibility placed on the child:  

“He just won’t use it.”

“She doesn’t like the talker. She just points to things she wants.”

In many cases, the missing link is the communication partner. After all, communication doesn’t happen in a vacuum—it takes two, or more. Supportive communication partners, whether they are parents, teachers, instructional assistants, caregivers, or peers, are critical to an AAC learner’s success. So what do those partners need to do? What do they need to be taught, and how? Fortunately, there is so much great research out there, we could make a whole course on it. You’ll learn some specifics on what strategies partners need to learn, and recommended elements for training sessions. You’ll also read about several AAC interventions that brought peers into the process. Ready to flip the script, and take the spotlight off your AAC learner for a bit? They’ll benefit in the long run!

Learning Outcomes & Details

As a result of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. List some options for what we may consider teaching AAC communication partners.

  2. List some options for how we may consider teaching AAC communication partners.

  3. Describe the evidence for modeling AAC.

Course Type: Text; Web or downloadable PDF

Time: This is a half-hour course.

ASHA CEUs: This course is offered for .05 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area)

Course Completion Requirements: Read the full course, then take a quiz at the end. Must pass with a score of 80% or better (two attempts allowed).


Questions? See our frequently asked questions.


Course edited and compiled by:

Meredith Harold, PhD, CCC-SLP is owner of The Informed SLP and faculty at Rockhurst University. Financial Disclosure— receives salary from The Informed SLP and Rockhurst University. Nonfinancial Disclosure— Vice President of Speech–Language Pathology for the Kansas Speech–Language–Hearing Association Board; Board member of the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association Committee on Clinical Research, Implementation Science, and Evidence-Based Practice.

Karen Evans, MA, CCC-SLP is a speech–language pathologist at Intermediate District 287, and employee of The Informed SLP. Financial Disclosure— receives salary from Intermediate District 287 and The Informed SLP. Nonfinancial Disclosure— None.

Full research and writing team bios can be found here. The Informed SLP’s researchers and writers are prohibited from having any financial or nonfinancial conflicts of interest related to the content they research and report on.

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This course is offered for .05 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).