Speech-language pathologists' views on mentoring by people who use speech generating devices

Liora Ballin*, Susan Balandin, Roger J. Stancliffe, Leanne Togher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Learning to use a speech generating device (SGD), also known as a voice output communication aid (VOCA), is a challenging experience for new device learners. These learners typically rely on training from speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and may not meet other users who are competent SGD communicators. The aim of this study was to explore SLPs' perceptions of the important components of a program where adults who use an SGD mentor new learners. A total of 17 SLPs experienced in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) participated in one of three focus groups. The focus group discussions were analysed for content themes and these were verified with participants. Thematic analysis revealed that experienced SLPs perceived that a mentoring program to improve SGD use might help people new to using SGDs. Participants were positive about SLPs collaborating with SGD mentors to support new learners. They suggested ways in which SLPs could provide assistance and guidelines for establishing a mentoring program. Potential benefits identified for new learners included opportunities to view successful use of an SGD in everyday settings and to receive support and guidance. Benefits for mentors included the satisfaction of helping new learners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-457
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

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