Supporting Speech Generating Device Use in the Classroom. Part 1: Teacher Professional Development

Julie M. McMillan, Adelle Renzaglia

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    To educate students with complex communication needs and use speech generating devices (SGDs) or other assistive technology (AT) in the classroom, teachers must develop sufficient knowledge and skills and receive adequate support to achieve desired student learning outcomes. Current professional development practices such as workshops and inservice may not be sufficient to achieve effective transference of skills to practice in the classroom. This two-part study investigated the effects of a multiphase teacher professional development package on student SGD use. Part 1 of this study focused on teacher professional learning. Teachers were taught (a) device operation and programming, (b) device integration and embedding, and (c) systematic communication instruction using time delay. All teachers learned device programming and instructional procedures and maintained as well as generalized their use. Part 2 of this study demonstrated the effects of the teachers' acquired skills on student communication and SGD use. Part 1 has implications for the professional development and support of teachers who educate students with complex communication needs who use SGDs or other AT in the classroom. For a detailed investigation of student communication outcomes, see the discussion of Part 2 of the investigation, which follows.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)31-47
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Special Education Technology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2014


    • education
    • Communications aids
    • special education
    • assistive technologies


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