Diversity, Equity, & AAC

Anne Page, ASHA certified speech language pathologist, educator, and AAC coach joined me for an interview in my Diversity, Culture, & Equity series and shared her perspective on these topics. She currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona and she is passionate about Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) because she loves the challenge of finding the best communication support system for her students. Anne acknowledges the need for increased diversity in the field of speech/language pathology and special education. As an Assistive Technology lead in her district, she is able to provide consultative and communication services for various schools and special education teams. In doing so, she recognizes the need for representation in many ways including the icons that are used on Alternative and Augmentative Communication(AAC) devices. Anne previously worked at a Title I school for 14 years and understands how important building rapport with children, families, and staff is to the success of children with special needs.

During the interview, we discuss ways that speech language pathologists can advocate for and create diverse materials for AAC users with complex communication needs. We discuss the significance of attaining access to AAC for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) children and families. At times, there may be limitations to getting funding and devices and that is why SLPs truly play an important role in speaking up for these children so that they have the resources that they need to communicate. Children need to share their voices and we can help ensure that they have that opportunity to do so in the classroom, at home, and in their communities. She provides ideas on how to involve parents and colleagues to increase equity for BIPOC children with complex communication needs.

Additionally, you’ll learn ways that you can effectively increase the language & literacy skills of AAC users. She explains the differences between options of devices based on children’s communication abilities. After this interview, speech/language pathologists and special educators will be able to continue on their journey of being more culturally responsive when working with children with complex communication needs. You may watch the interview here. I welcome your thoughts in the comments.

All the best,

Tamara Anderson, M.S., Ed.S., CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist

Education Specialist/Consultant

Diversity & Equity Advocate



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