Speech Pathology

Continuing Education Course

Past CEU Events

ICAN Talk Too:  Successful Strategies for AAC Evaluation and Intervention

October 5, 2018

Williams Center, The State University of New York at Fredonia

Evaluating a person for an Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Device is one of the most complex evaluations a clinical team must complete. Promotional information frequently overshadows the principles and evidence required to guide clinical team decisions for selecting the appropriate AAC device and the accompanying language program. Team members must be aware of the various access methods, AAC devices, and language programs available in the market place to match with an individual. Secondly, where do you start after you have the AAC device in place and how do we monitor a person’s language performance? A coordinated team intervention will ensure that the user is making language gains and meeting his or her maximum communicative abilities. This presentation will define and describe the evaluation process to successfully match an AAC device with a user, as well as identify the components of a treatment plan and objectives that support decision making. At the same time, barriers must be identified and removed that may inhibit treatment effectiveness. Such factors may include: access to differing AAC devices, staff and family training, and user satisfaction and motivation. The successful matching of a person with the appropriate AAC device, as well as, continued intervention can help lead to desired user satisfaction and performance outcomes.

Learner Outcomes:

  1. Identify and describe three areas to address when evaluating an individual's abilty to benefit from an AAC Device.
  2. Identify two domains of communicative competence to address when writing AAC objectives.
  3. Identify two performance measures to use to monitor improvements in intervention.
  4. Identify one outcome measurement tool to evaluate the effectiveness of intervention.

Speaker Biography

Michael O’Leary M.S. CCC-SLP is the assistant clinical director for the ICAN Talk Clinic. He has public school experience providing diagnostic and treatment speech language and AAC services to middle and high school students. Currently, he focuses on providing AAC-related services to students with severe autism spectrum disorders at a partial hospitalization program along with outpatient AAC services across the lifespan. He specializes is the evaluation and treatment of individuals with severe movement disabilities who need alternative access methods to AAC systems, especially eye gaze and brain computer interface (BCI) access. Michael is the camp coordinator and designs the STEAM based therapeutic learning activities for the ICAN Talk AAC Summer Camp. He has provided evidence-based trainings on Alternative Access Methods for multiple school districts and presented at multiple state and national conferences including Closing the Gap, Pennsylvania State Speech and Hearing Association and the Statewide Assistive Technology, Augmentative and Alternative Communication Conference in Colorado.


Financial - Mr. Michael O'Leary is the assistant clincial director for the ICAN Talk Clinic in Carnegie, Pennsylvannia and he will receive an honorarium for the Fredonia CEU conference.

Nonfinancial - Mr. Michael O'Leary has no relevent non-financial relationships to disclose.


8:00-8:30 a.m.  Registration

8:30-10:00 a.m.  Introduction & Principles of AAC Evaluation, Discussion of Access Methods

10:00-10:15 a.m.  Break

10:15-11:15 a.m.  Domains of Communicative Competence

11:15-noon  Creating Measurable Objectives

Noon-1:00 p.m.  Lunch

1:00-2:30 p.m.  Overview of Intervention Techniques

2:30-2:45 p.m.  Break

2:45-3:45 p.m.  Monitoring Intervention and Tracking Language Performance

3:45-4:00 p.m.  Conclusion & Questions

Program Completion Requirements: Participants are expected to be present for hte entire program.  Individuals who are not present for the full program will not be recommended for ASHA CEUs.  No partial credit will be provided.

Cost for Participation:  $110.00 (includes coffee, tea, buffet lunch)

ASHA CEU approved provider logo

This course is offered for .6 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area)

Revised Conference Materials (slides)

Fredonia Presentation recover.pdf (slides)

Fredonia Eye Gaze Eval.pdf (slides)


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