Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Many speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in a Midwest urban public school system have experienced barriers that prohibit the effective use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). The result has left some students with speech language impairments (SLI) without the communication skills for meaningful relationships and success in and out of school. The purpose of this exploratory case study was to determine the perceived barriers of 8 local school SLPs regarding the successful implementation of AAC and their suggestions for addressing the problem. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews with the SLPs. Data collection and analysis were grounded by Ely's conditions of change theory to better understand what conditions were not being met for implementing AAC. The findings suggested that SLPs and teachers lacked the needed knowledge, experience, and time to properly implement AAC. The participants also indicated the need for more participation and commitment from their colleagues, school leaders, and the students' family members, which would also require additional training and collaborative planning time. The recommendations are that school administrators provide additional training and time for SLPs, their colleagues, and students' family members to learn how to properly help students with SLI use AAC in the classroom. The results of this study could help students with SLI by increasing the use of AAC in the school setting, home, and community. This could increase learning opportunities, student achievement, and relationships for students using AAC.