Students focusing too much on "Needs &
Wants" for AAC users?
Demonstrate the breadth of communicative functions and vocabulary through
two types of resources on this website: video clips and personal profiles.
Follow these links for detailed suggestions:
Option 1: Learning
about diverse communicative functions in AAC
Option 2. Demonstrating
communicative functions via video clips
Option 3. Demonstrating
communicative functions via profiles
1. Learning about diverse communicative
functions in AAC [Homework and classroom discussion]
Students should read the enABLES web page entitled "Promoting
the Facts about the Purpose of AAC" at http://depts.washington.edu/enables/myths/myths_aac_purpose.htm
Discuss with students purposes of communication they saw on this
page, then encourage them to list out on the blackboard all the different
purposes that they have used communication for in the past 24 hours.
Discuss what would happen in their own lives if they could not use
communication for any of those purposes..
2. Demonstrating communicative functions
via video: [Classroom]
Browse the video clips for uncommon (but important) communicative
functions in somewhat unpredictable circumstances.
To find these clips, go to the AT/AAC
enABLES Search page: http://content.sphsc.washington.edu/qbuild/aac_proto.html
Find the section of the search page that looks like this
Click on the black triangle to the right to open the
drop down menu and select the desired functional activity. For this
activity, you will want video that demonstrates unexpected conversations
in routine contexts. Here are some clips that demonstrate that idea.
[Note: The key search terms are shown in italics, the other words
indicate which clip you want from the clips that are found in the
- joking at the pharmacy
- recreating with Karaoke
- worshipping at church
All video clips will appear as thumbnails on the next screen. You
will usually see two versions: “.wmv” for Windows Media
Player clips and “.mov” for Quick Time/MacIntosh clips.
Click on the thumbnail once to show the video clip.
Note: Be sure to read the Frequently
Asked Questions (FAQ) about searching on enABLES at:
Before you show the clip, ask students
to list the communicative functions that they believe would be necessary
for that context. This will lead them to list the expected
Then show the video clip. For example,
you could ask the students to list the functions and vocabulary necessary
for going to the pharmacy, then show them Sharon King joking
at the pharmacy. Similarly, you could ask them to list the functions
and vocabulary necessary for going to a bar, then show them Scott
Palm recreating with Karaoke. Similarly,
you could ask them what functions and vocabulary are necessary for
going to church, and then show them worshipping
which highlights Sharon and Alan’s advocacy efforts on behalf
of some members of the congregation.
3. Demonstrating communicative functions via
profiles [classroom or online]
Have students read the profile that relates to one individual as
a homework assignment. If your discussion will be online, have them
also view the video clips that are associated with that profile.
If your discussion is in class, you can show them the clips in class.
A good example is the profile of Sharon Jodock King and all of
her associated video clips that show the breadth of her life's activities.
Sharon’s profile and clips are at http://depts.washington.edu/enables/profiles/prof_sk.htm
Leading the Discussion:
Ask students to compile a list communicative functions this individual
(Sharon) clearly requires across all these contexts. Some possible
discussions that could ensue:
- Discuss whether it is possible to provide her with just the functions
that might be expected in a given context.
- Discuss any unpredictable communication that happens in their
- Discuss what would be missing from Sharon's life if she could
not spell to create novel utterances and was dependent on others
to supply her vocabulary for each context.