Assistive Technology Network

Evidence Based Practices

Implementing evidence-based practices (EBPs) with students using AAC, improves quality of care and can protect students from questionable or harmful interventions.  It is the position of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) that:

"When all three components of EBP [clinical expertise, evidence, and client/caregiver perspective] are considered together, clinicians can make informed, evidence-based decisions and provide high-quality services reflecting the interests, values, needs, and choices of individuals with communication disorders."

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, n.d., Evidence-Based Practice, EBP, para. 4

AAC is not one-size-fits-all and no one product or treatment is always appropriate for all students. It is important to develop a thorough understanding of the student and think critically about AAC strategies to utilize. This means ensuring that the tools and strategies selected are optimal for the student and setting.

The Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) page on ASHA includes resources to assist teams in identifying which EBPs to utilize when working with AAC users.

Evidence-based strategies that have been shown to be effective when teaching AAC include:

  • Aided Language Stimulation
  • Core Vocabulary
  • Communication Partner Training
  • Descriptive Teaching
  • Systematic Instruction

To learn more about busting the "one size fits all" myth, check out Myth #2: Everyone should use the same AAC system, from Small Talk Speech Therapy.