Bridging the gap: literacy for students using augmentative and alternative communication
The purpose of this project was to gain a deeper understanding of how to support literacy skills with students who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). The focus looked at finding an alternate means of assessing phonological awareness skills especially geared to students who are non-verbal or minimally verbal. A design-based research approach was used to survey elementary educators to identify a gap in literacy access for students using AAC and to create the Phonological Awareness Screen for Students using AAC (PASS-AAC). Results indicated that elementary educators did not find current assessment practices to be accessible for students with AAC and that the PASS-AAC would be a suitable alternative method. The findings in this project suggest that there is a need for alternative assessment methods for students using AAC and further trials with this population would be beneficial to get a deeper understanding how to best support literacy skills for AAC users.