Effects of pre-stored utterances on the communication competence of AAC users

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Effects of pre-stored utterances on the communication competence of AAC users

 

Author: Chan, Hang-yee
Title: Effects of pre-stored utterances on the communication competence of AAC users
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2008
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
People with disabilities -- Means of communication.
Communication devices for people with disabilities.
Communicative disorders -- Treatment.
Department: Dept. of Health Technology and Informatics
Pages: xiv, 106 leaves ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2221333
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/4188
Abstract: Communicating with each other is an essence for human beings. However, for individuals who failed to produce clear speech, it is not easy for them to communicate effectively and efficiently by using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Slow rate of communication is one of the most common constraints for AAC users to achieve communication competence. The use of pre-stored utterances has been one of the strategies reported to be successful in overcoming the constraint. The current study examined the effect of using pre-stored utterances on the communication competence of AAC users in conversational context. Three adult AAC users suffered from cerebral palsy were asked to have nine causal conversations with speaking communication partners who were their familiar peers, three during the baseline phase, five during the treatment phase and one during the maintenance phase. During the treatment phase, the AAC users were taught about how to generate and use the pre-stored messages during casual conversations with speaking partners. Measures of communication competence included the rate of communication by using the AAC device, the balance of participation between the AAC user and the speaking partner as well as the degree of assertiveness during communication. Videos of one conversation session from each of the three phases of all the three AAC users were being rated by experienced communicators with AAC users on their perceived communication competence. The results were generally consistent with prior research of single case experiments. All the three AAC users used pre-stored messages after treatment implementation and during the maintenance phase. Improvement in different parameters of communication competence: rate of communication, balance of participation and degree of assertiveness were found in different AAC users according to their baseline communication styles and abilities. Improvement in perceived communication competence was also resulted in all AAC users. Findings of subjective measures of perceived communication competence converged with the objective measures of communication competence parameters. Trade off between rate of communication and the accuracy of information transfer was not found in the current study. The preliminary findings of this study supported the use of pre-stored messages by AAC users when communicating with speaking partners to increase their communication competence. The use of pre-stored messages not only increased the rate of communication, but also allowed AAC users to participate and initiate more during an interaction.

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