School of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology


Achieving communication competence through collaboration

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2014


Achieving communication competence is a clinical procedure that augmentative–alternative communication (AAC) intervention teams can follow to implement AAC in an individual’s natural contexts. First, intervention teams consider environmental factors to determine the status of the individual’s current situation, then plan to target certain settings, opportunities and partners as the context of the initial intervention. Next, intervention teams consider existing communication skills. The planning process involves collaboration among partners, including professionals, families, and the individual to select outcomes in terms of specific communication skills, messages and partner strategies. Once the plan is complete, teams implement the plan with common goals and procedures across contexts and partners. A case study involving an iPad with AAC software illustrates the application of the principles of achieving communication competence.