The AAC communication group was a collaboration between the SLT departments at Cardiff Metropolitan University and ABMU Health Board. The overall aim of the group was to develop and then run a communication therapy group for Adults with a Learning Disability which focused on the development of both low and high-tech AAC skills. This was an initial pilot to assess the feasibilty and benefit of such a group. The aims of the group included: 1.To increase the clients understanding of symbols and their ability to use and differentiate between two different symbol systems for communication. 2. To increase the client's confidence with using various forms of alternative and augmentative communication to support with a range of communication functions. 3. To give the clients the opportunity to use an iPad / Tablet with communication software to support communication.
Five participants were selected who had an identified difficulty with expressive communication alongside their learning disability. The group ran twice weekly for 4 weeks. The participants attended sessions with support wokers and with family members to increase communication partner understanding of AAC.
All participants showed progress in their use of AAC as a means of expression across a broad range of fucntions of language.These outcomes were measured against several Speech and Language Therapy outcome systems as well as through more qualitative processes.
The pilot demonstrated the value of Speech and Language therapy groups focusing on supporting the development of skills in AAC for adults with a learning disability.