College of Health Sciences


Physical Therapy & Athletic Training


Kinesiology & Rehabilitation

Publication Date





In the United States, approximately four million individuals are unable to use verbal speech to meet communication needs (Beukelman & Mirenda, 2013). Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) modalities support the needs of these individuals, offering temporary or permanent solutions to meet an individual’s communication needs across environments (Beukelman & Mirenda, 2013). Tasked with the use of AAC to support individuals with communication impairments, speech-language pathologists are directly involved in AAC service provision (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2016). Past research has identified barriers to AAC service provision and use of AAC modalities, including lack of perceived competence, time, financial support, and availability of aided AAC modalities (e.g., Bailey et al., 2006; Costigan & Light, 2010; Iacono & Cameron, 2009; Marvin et al., 2003, Soto et al., 2001). This study surveyed post-professional speech-language pathologists to examine 1) characteristics of perceived competence and use of AAC during service delivery, 2) perceived barriers to AAC service delivery, and 3) learning preferences for AAC-related training.

Five-hundred thirty post-professional speech-language pathologists in the United States participated in this study. To address the research questions, regression analyses were used with a two-step hierarchical method of entry. Step one included predictor variables related to the individual, and step two included predictor variables related to the clinical practice setting. Results revealed speech-language pathologists’ perceived competence, use of AAC modalities, barriers to AAC service delivery, and learning preferences are predominantly influenced by both individual and practice setting characteristics. These results suggest preservice coursework alone does not adequately address speech-language pathologists’ needs for AAC service delivery. Graduate programs must integrate hands-on training experiences to develop students’ competence related to AAC. For post-professionals, effective AAC-related training must be tailored to reflect speech-language pathologists’ specific practice settings, clinical populations, and learning preferences.


Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), Training, Barriers


Speech Pathology and Audiology



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Predictors and Characteristics of AAC Service Delivery Among Post-Professional Speech-Language Pathologists