journal contributionposted on 2012-12-09, 00:00 authored by Kate Anderson, M K Boisvert, J Doneski-Nicol, M L Gutmann, N C Hall, C Morelock, R Steele, E R Cohn
Approximately 1.3% of all people, or about 4 million Americans, cannot rely on their natural speech to meet their daily communication needs. Telepractice offers a potentially cost-effective service delivery mechanism to provide clinical AAC services at a distance to the benefit of underserved populations in the United States and worldwide. Tele-AAC is a unique cross-disciplinary clinical service delivery model that requires expertise in both telepractice and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems. The Tele-AAC Working Group of the 2012 ISAAC Research Symposium therefore drafted a resolution underscoring the importance of identifying and characterizing the unique opportunities and constraints of Tele-AAC in all aspects of service delivery. These include, but are not limited to: needs assessments; implementation planning; device/system procurement, set-up and training; quality assurance, client progress monitoring, and follow-up service delivery. Tele-AAC, like other telepractice applications, requires adherence to the ASHA Code of Ethics and other policy documents, and state, federal, and international laws, as well as a competent technological infrastructure. The Working Group recommends that institutions of higher education and professional organizations provide training in Tele-AAC service provision. In addition, research and development are needed to create validity measures across Tele-AAC practices (i.e., assessment, implementation, and consultation); determine the communication competence levels achieved by Tele-AAC users; discern stakeholders’ perceptions of Tele-AAC services (e.g., acceptability and viability); maximize Tele-AAC’s capacity to engage multiple team members in AAC assessment and ongoing service; identify the limitations and barriers of Tele-AAC provision; and develop potential solutions.