Authors: Sigafoos J, Didde R, Schlosser R, Green VA, O'Reilly MF, Lancioni GE
Title: A review of intervention studies on teaching AAC to individuals who are deaf and blind
Source: Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities 2008 20(1): 71-99
Year: 2008
Research Design: Systematic Review

We reviewed intervention studies on teaching augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to deaf-blind individuals. Studies meeting pre-determined inclusion-exclusion criteria were identified through electronic databases and hand searching and were summarized in terms of: (a) participants, (b) AAC mode, (c) target skills, (d) intervention procedures, and (e) main findings. Certainty of evidence was assessed through critical appraisal of each study's design and methodological rigor. Seventeen studies, comprising 103 participants, were identified. Most participants had combinations of developmental, physical, and sensory impairments. A range of AAC modes were taught, including textures, tangible objects, and line-drawn symbols. Basic requesting skills were the most common intervention targets and these were most often taught using well-established behavioral procedures (e.g., prompting, differential reinforcement). Positive outcomes were reported for 90% of participants, but the evidence for 11 of the 17 studies was inconclusive because of methodological weaknesses. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed. ©Springer

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