This article outlines practical techniques for developing literacy skills in users of high-tech speech-generating augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices. The recommended strategies are intended for general classroom teachers who teach literacy skills to students with typical speech. Many students who use high-tech AAC devices participate in grade-level instruction. Strategies based on the National Reading Panel's research-based findings for effective reading instruction are used as guidelines for adapting instruction to incorporate users of AAC. Techniques for teaching phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary development, and text comprehension are provided. Because of the emphasis placed on oral reading in developing fluency, this skill area is not directly addressed. Rather, this article provides strategies for developing a skill more directly relevant to AAC users--multimodal meaning making. In using the strategies outlined in this article, classroom teachers will be able to increase the literacy skills of all students with very little adaptation to instruction.
Developing students' literacy skills using high-tech speech-generating augmentative and alternative communication devices
Intervention in School and Clinic, Vol. 44(3), 167-172.
birth to preschool
IDEA Disability Category:
speech or language impairment
alternate access devices and systems
multiple formats of text and notation
National Reading Panel Standards:
English Language Arts:
Reading: Foundational Skills
Reading: Informational Text