Bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology (NQF level 8) or BAHons Augmentative and Alternative Communication degree or relevant honours degree, provided that sufficient background in severe communication disability and research is evident, in which case an admissions examination may be required
A weighted average of at least 65% at final-year level
At least 65% for the research component at honours level
Theories of communication, information processing, language development and literacy acquisition are dealt with as related to persons in need of or using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). The role of AAC within a bioecological, social constructivist view of disability is explored. Current research issues in the field are explored in relation to different contexts and different populations. At the end of this module the student must be able to:
discuss the influence of AAC on communication, information processing, language development and literacy acquisition in relation to specific cases;
Identify and review current research focus areas in the field
This module will discuss the participation model (based on a bioecological, social constructivist approach) as a framework for AAC assessment and intervention. The following aspects will furthermore be dealt with in more detail:
Appropriate assessment approaches;
Intervention approaches specific to selected populations with specific reflection upon the evidence base for these approaches;
The use of communication aids with specific focus on devices, as well as considerations for appropriate selection, design and programming;
Appropriate positioning for maximising participation of persons with physical disabilities.
At the end of this module the student should be able to apply this knowledge to devise, justify and critically reflect upon an appropriate assessment and intervention plan for a given client.
The mini-dissertation should consist of an independent research project of limited scope on a topic related to the field of AAC selected in collaboration with the supervisor(s). The project must be based on an approved research proposal and ethics clearance if the latter is required for the project.
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