Authors: Caron JG, O'Brien M, Weintraub R
Title: Online Training to Improve Service Provider Implementation of Letter-Sound Correspondence Instruction for Individuals Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication
Source: American Journal of Speech Language Pathology 2022 31(3): 1114-1132
Year: 2022
Research Design: Single Case Design

PURPOSE: Service providers have limited training in adapting and implementing literacy instruction for individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), and therefore, opportunities to participate in phonological-based literacy activities are minimal. An online training was developed to teach service providers how to implement a systematic lesson in letter-sound correspondence (LSC) instruction with high fidelity for individuals who use AAC. METHOD: The Active Implementation Framework was used to guide the investigation of implementation fidelity and intervention effectiveness after service provider completion of an online training in LSC instruction. Study 1 trained five speech-language pathologists, one paraeducator, and six special educators in schools (N = 12), and Study 2 trained four speech-language pathology master's students. Single case across participant methodology was used for both studies with an implementation fidelity checklist to measure changes in instructional behaviors. Additionally, social validity data from service providers were collected. Preliminary data on intervention effectiveness for individuals who use AAC were collected for three LSCs after service providers were trained. RESULTS: Prior to the online training, service providers implemented LSC instruction with low fidelity. After the training, 11 service providers in Study 1 and all four speech-pathology master's students in Study 2 demonstrated large gains in implementation fidelity. Eight of the nine individuals who use AAC demonstrated improvement in LSC. CONCLUSION: Access to the online training has the potential to change the implementation behavior of service providers and take steps toward closing the research-to-practice gap surrounding early phonological skill acquisition for individuals who use AAC.

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