Abstract

Schools in the United States support a large group of students requiring the assistance of augmentative and alternate communication (AAC). It is currently unknown what types of training and supports special education teachers require or are receiving to meet the needs of these students. A convenience sample of 3,200 teachers was surveyed about the following topics: (a) number and description of students who do not have a proficient way of communicating, (b) the efforts employed by teachers to support AAC adoption, and (c) the type and length of training the teachers had specific to supporting students who need communication supports. Researchers found a statistically significant association between the amounts of training the teacher received and the communication functionality of their students. In addition, teachers with more training tend to utilize a wider variety of support strategies and certain types of training may be more effective for specific modes of communication.

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