Supporting Speech Generating Device Use in the Classroom. Part Two: Student Communication Outcomes

Julie M. McMillan, Adelle Renzaglia

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    This two-part study investigated the effects of a multiphase teacher professional development package on student speech-generating augmentative and alternative communication device (SGD) use. In Part 1, teachers were taught (a) device operation and programming, (b) device integration and embedding, and (c) systematic communication instruction using time delay. The teacher professional learning intervention and the effect on teacher performance were discussed in detail. Part 2 of the study demonstrated the effect of teacher performance on student learning outcomes. This study demonstrated that there was no effect on student SGD use during teacher learning Phase 1 (device operation). However, all students showed substantial increases in SGD initiations during teacher learning Phase 2 (integration and embedding), and SGD initiations remained at high levels through teacher learning Phase 3 (systematic communication instruction). SGD initiations increased further for students with the most significant disabilities during teacher learning Phase 3. Overall, minimal effects were found for student SGD responses. This study has implications for service provision to students who use SGDs and/or other assistive technology (AT) in the classroom. It highlights the need to measure student outcomes when implementing professional learning for teachers or developing service provision models involving teachers in client classrooms. Student outcomes will determine the efficacy of such inservice and support and will assist in determining the types of professional learning practices that are likely to achieve desired student outcomes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)49-61
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Special Education Technology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2014


    • education
    • Communications aids
    • special education
    • assistive technologies


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