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Outcomes of a Train-the-trainer Model for Introducing iPads® for Communication

Research Stream
  • Pammi Raghavendra (Flinders University, Australia)
  • Janelle Sampson (Flinders University, Australia)
  • Teresa Iacono (La Trobe University, Australia)
  • Denise Wood (Central Queensland University, Australia)
Funding / Sponsorship: 
Project funded by Flinders University Faculty of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences Seeding Grant. AssistiveWare, developers of Proloquo2Go, provided two free apps.

The aim was to explore outcomes of training support workers to implement the use of iPads as communication devices for adults with complex communication needs.


Participants comprised six day service support workers (Group I); and six adults with complex communication needs attending the day services (Group II). Group I received training on assessment tools, selection of apps to meet communication goals and strategies to support iPads use for communication. Following training, Group I administered the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure to Group II to determine communication goals, and the Social Networks Inventory for information on communication abilities and circles of communication partners. Group I provided intervention to Group II over 4-months; project staff provided advisory support.


Modest gains were obtained as Group I had limited time and expertise to implement the intervention and needed extensive support. Group II were motivated to use iPads to communicate and increased performance scores on their communication goals.


Simply providing iPads will not result in immediate solutions. As with any communication technology, training and support must be provided to adults with complex communication needs and their communication partners across varied contexts and by people with experience and expertise in AAC.

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