Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) can be invaluable in helping children with complex communication needs express themselves at home and in the classroom. However, providing the appropriate piece of technology alone does not ensure successful communication (Douglas, 2012). Rather, the success of a communication interaction between an AAC user and a communication partner will depend heavily on the skills of the communication partner (Kent-Walsh & McNaughton, 2005).
Recent analyses of communication partner training programs suggest that there is consistent evidence that communication partner instruction not only improves the skills of communication partners but also has a positive impact on the communication of people who use AAC (Douglas, 2012; Kent-Walsh, Murza, Malani, & Binger, 2015; Shire & Jones, 2015). This webinar will provide participants with an overview of the importance of communication partner instruction, review training elements found in successful communication partner training programs and discuss research regarding the effectiveness of school staff and family instruction in partner-augmented input.