Assistive Technology Network

Setting up Communication Opportunities

AAC users need numerous opportunities to use their system for a variety of communicative purposes across many different settings, activities, and communication partners. The following are some ways to create these opportunities throughout the day:

  • Time delay- preferred items or activities are present but access is delayed until s/he makes a request.
  • Missing item- An item needed for a preferred activity is missing.
  • Blocked response (interrupted behavior chain)- Momentarily blocking a response or interrupting an ongoing activity.
  • Verbal prompt-free strategy- A symbol is placed near the student (with no accompanying prompt or explanation) and if s/he touches it, intentionally or not, the item is provided.
  • Incomplete presentation- His/her initial request is followed by a partial presentation of the requested item (only part of a puzzle, for example).
  • Delayed assistance- Needed assistance is delayed until s/he makes a request.
  • Wrong item format- S/he is given the wrong referent (activity or item) and needs to repair the mistake.