Project Building Bridges: Training Speech-Language Pathologists to Provide Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Augmentative and Alternative Communication Services to School-Age Children With Diverse Backgrounds

    Project Building Bridges is a federally sponsored program that prepares speech-language pathology graduate students to provide culturally and linguistically responsive services to school-age children with complex communication needs from diverse backgrounds. Project scholars receive evidence-based training in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) assessment, AAC intervention, collaborative teaming, AAC applications supporting the language and literacy skills of culturally and linguistically diverse children, and professional development in collaborative AAC settings. Project content and needed competencies for practicing professionals who are interested in expanding their knowledge of culturally responsive services for children who benefit from AAC are described. Precompetency training and postcompetency training data from the perspectives of the scholars' self-assessment and the clinical educators' assessment supporting the growth and development of these competencies are presented. Direction for implementing culturally and linguistically responsive AAC services in educational settings is provided.


    Project Building Bridges responds to the need to train future licensed and certified speech-language pathologists to work effectively with culturally and linguistically diverse children between the ages of birth to 22 years who have significant disabilities and augmentative communication needs. Data collected indicate that knowledge and skills improved from both the perspective of the graduate student and the perspectives of the AAC speech-language pathology clinical educator in school settings as a result of the training.


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