“The Path of Equality”: Supporting High School Students with Complex Communication Needs

This study utilizes video data, observations and qualitative interviewing to explore the experiences of three adolescent students who use AAC and the supports in place around them at one inclusive highschool. The project privileges, and focuses on how the school honors, the voices of those students as contributors to the construction of the spaces they enter and ways in which their active participation is supported.

Attendees will be able to:

  1. 1. See intentional efforts made by teachers to include students who use AAC through practices such as modeling, creating openings, providing wait time, and recognizing contributions.
  2. 2. Understand the critical role played by TAs in school lives of students who use AAC through examples of cultivating relationships, managing materials and devices, and working through daily logistics.
  3. 3. Engage in a discussion of one high schools’ response to logistical challenges of supporting multiple students that use AAC, including home/school communication.
  4. 4. Understand the commitment to including students’ voices in constructing the support they receive.
  5. 5. Gain insight into promising practices of one school with a commitment to ongoing problem solving rather than the development of programs.
  6. 6. See implications of support for rigorous academic inclusion of students with complex communication needs on opportunities for peer interactions.

Casey  Reutemann, Christy Ashby