3 Keys to AAC in the IEP (Ep 129)

aac assistive technology communication iep help iep team special education special education resources special needs special needs resources May 04, 2022

AAC, also known as augmentative and alternative communication, is key part of so many IEPs!

You might remember our episode from a few months ago with Lucy from @thealternativewaytoprek all about AAC for early learners. (It's definitely one you need to check out if you missed it.) She also did a special training for our Inner Circle VIP members that was FILLED with awesome ideas, but there were a few things that kept coming up that you need to know.

I want to make sure you have these 3 keys to effective AAC strategies directly in the IEP. We can write down anything inside the IEP, but if we don't know what to ask for and how to follow through with those requests, then it's all just words on a page. So let's jump in...

Include Accountability Measures for AAC Prep/Revision

Make sure you have specific minutes inside the IEP that are dedicated to whatever is needed to support the child in using their AAC tools. These can be high tech or low tech depending on the child's needs, but we have to carve out minutes that are specifically meant for building social stories or do the preteaching. It's all about accountability to ensure that teachers have protected times to discuss the AAC needs of the child. Need prep time or consult time? Build that into the IEP!

The Device Cannot be Taken Away

This may be a no-brainer to some of us, but sometimes we need to include directions in the IEP that the child's device cannot be taken away from them. Just like children who don't always raise their hands or forget how to whisper to their neighbors, students can use their AAC devices at inappropriate times in class that might be disruptive, but you can't take the device from them. They're exploring their voice, and just like their peers, they need reminders about when, where, and how we use our voices.

Accountability for Usage

The third key I want to remember is that you have specific accountability written into the IEP for how the child is using the device. How will you track data like: how often they use it, structured/unstructured activities, independent or supported use, and so much more! There has to be a system for tracking how and when the child is using their assistive technology.

Go think about: Is AAC something you need to give more attention to within the IEP, whether its for your child or your students?


I have that and 11 other questions you need to ask before your next IEP meeting at iepchecklist.com. Grab yours today!

Want to watch Lucy's expert session on AAC (plus all our other guest expert sessions)? Become an Inner Circle VIP today: www.masteriepcoach.com/innercircle




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