Date of Award

Fall 2008

Project Type


Program or Major

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Degree Name

Master of Science


More than 3.5 million Americans have such significant communication disability that they cannot rely on their natural speech to meet their communication needs. As a result, these individuals are severely restricted in their participation in all aspects of life, including their education, employment, family, and community. Augmentative and alternative communication strategies offer great potential to enhance the communication of individuals with complex communication needs, and therefore improve their quality of life.

Fifty-two ISAAC members that responded to the online survey utilized a 5 point Likert-type scale (strongly agree to strongly disagree) to rate the importance of factors as they relate to the rejection and/or abandonment. The mean values of ratings were calculated to determine which factors were cited as relevant in predicting AAC device rejection and abandonment. Additionally, an independent T-test was utilized to determine if the factors cited varied depending on the role of the person completing the survey.

The results of this investigation indicate that it is imperative to consider a complex interaction of factors pertaining to the individuals who use AAC, their conversational partners, settings in which interactions occur, and devices used to interact, when designing an AAC intervention. The statistical analysis revealed no significance difference in how the respondents rated the factors based on their occupation. Based on the results of the study, a checklist of factors that an AAC practitioner might consider addressing in order to foster acceptance of AAC systems initially and later on was constructed.