A UK Human Development Institute (HDI) Fund for Excellence award has been given to Jacqui Kearns, PhD, to create a set of unique online modules for speech/language pathologists, case managers, direct support workers, and program administrators, on developing communicative competence for the adults that they serve. Though many gains have been made in communicative competence for people with significant cognitive disabilities, we have learned that students who do not have a symbolic mode of communication can develop symbolic levels of expressive communication (Holman, 2011). The Teaching Age Appropriate Academic Learning via Communication (TAALC) Project* and Kentucky National Core Indicator Data suggest that the communication needs of many adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities are not being met.
The Fund for Excellence award will support the development of a set of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association-certified professional learning modules to meet the communication needs of adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities who do not currently have or use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). This will increase awareness and promote the availability of AAC and services for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
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*funded by the Kentucky Department of Education