Caron, J. (2016). Engagement in social media environments for individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication. NeuroRehabilitation, 39:4, pp. 499-506. Advance online publication. doi: 10.3233/NRE-161381
Communicative interactions, despite the mode (e.g., face-to-face, online) rely on the communication skills of each individual participating. Some individuals have significant speech and language impairments and require the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) (i.e., signs, speech generating devices) to maximize their communication participation across a variety of on and offline contexts. Use of social media has brought about changes to communication environments, contributing new contexts for engagement.
Objectives: To provide a framework for considering application of engagement theory for interventions around social media use by individuals who use AAC.
Methods: The author has applied examples from qualitative social media and AAC research to a framework of engagement. No formal data collection was used.
Results: Social media use has become a conventional form of communication. Yet recognition of the value of social media (and other electronic modalities) for individuals who use AAC has not been fully translated into practice. The examples used illustrated how the proposed framework can assist in clinical practice and future research directions.
Conclusion: Engagement, including the proposed framework for considerations of social media engagement activities, can provide a systematic way to approach social media use for individuals who use AAC.