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The Uses and Mechanisms of Handwriting-in-interaction by People with Acquired Progressive Dysarthria

  • Steven Bloch
  • Michael Clarke

The use of handwriting has previously been identified as practical means of augmentative and alternative communication particularly for adults with acquired progressive dysarthria and intact upper limb control. However, to date there is extremely limited evidence documenting how handwriting operates within an everyday conversational context or what it can be used to achieve.

The analysis in this presentation, drawn from a database of 70 naturally occurring episodes of handwriting in interaction, features video data from two people with MND in conversation at home with their spouses. Using the methods of Conversation Analysis three aspects of handwriting in interaction will be explored: 1) the opening and closing of handwritten contributions; 2) recipient uptake of handwritten utterances; 3) the integration of handwritten activity with other modalities. Further discussion about how these findings can inform wider understanding of AAC technologies in use will be provided.

Level of Session 
Age Group 
Further/Higher Education