Thistle, J., & Wilkinson, K. (2015). Building Evidence-based Practice in AAC Display Design for Young Children: Current Practices and Future Directions. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 18: 1-13.
Each time a practitioner creates or modifies an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) display for a client, that practitioner must make a series of decisions about which vocabulary concepts to include, as well as physical and organizational features of the display. Yet, little is known about what factors influence the actual decisions and their outcomes. This research examined the design factors identified as priorities by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) when creating AAC displays for young children (age 10 years and under), and their rationale for the selection of these priorities. An online survey gathered ratings and comments from 112 SLPs with experience in AAC concerning the importance of a variety of factors related to designing an aided AAC display. Results indicated that some decisions were supported by existing research evidence, such as choosing vocabulary, collaborating with key stakeholders, and supporting partner modeling. Other decisions highlight areas for future research, including use of visual scene display layouts, symbol background color, and supports for motor planning.