First Advisor

Lynn E. Fox

Term of Graduation

Spring 2000

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Speech Communication: Speech and Hearing Sciences


Speech Communication




Communication devices for people with disabilities, Aphasic persons -- Rehabilitation



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 83 pages)


Individuals with severe nonfluent aphasia may lose functional verbal communication. With the loss of fluent speech, one may also lose the capacity to share in the casual conversation that enriches our lives. A rehabilitative course that seeks to stimulate restoration of verbal abilities can be lengthy with uncertain outcomes. Fortunately, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) interventions have shown promise in treating aphasia by providing non-verbal means of communicating. Communication aids designed around specific topics and comprised of words and pictures have been used by persons with aphasia to participate in conversations. Such aids have shown promise in facilitating successful conversation between persons with severe aphasia and natural speakers.

The purpose of this research was to identify the components of a treatment package that best facilitate learning and usage of a symbol-word communication board for the purpose of conversation between an aphasic person and communication partners. To date, there have been no empirical studies examining whether it is more effective to: (a) provide direct training of .board use to persons with aphasia, (b) provide training of board use and facilitation to partners, or ( c) provide training to both aphasic persons and their communication partners.

Results of this research found a clear effect for direct communication aid training of a subject with aphasia. Direct conversational training was critical in establishing successful use of a conversational aid by this subject with severe aphasia. Clear effects for partner training on board use in the clinical environment were not observed. Results are consistent with previous research showing that persons with severe aphasia may learn to use communication aids to participate in conversation.


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