Communication is a dynamic process, between at least 2 people.  It requires us to not only teach our students news skills, but also to learn new skills ourselves! There are years of research on the need for partners to people who use augmentative communication (AAC) to have knowledge around best practices in encouraging interaction with students who use AAC.  To this end, we are creating materials and webinars, as well as conducting trainings to help partners of AAC users hone their skills. We have also curated a variety of materials from all the wonderful specialists out in the world who are also developing and sharing their resources!  

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Aided Language Input

Aided Lanuage Input is one of the most highly researched methods of helping our students learn how their behaviors are meaningful for communication, how to use their own AAC system, and to advance their language skills for communication.  Aided Language Input is “a communication strategy that requires a communication partner to teach symbol meaning and model symbolic communication by pairing speech with graphic symbols or other forms of aided augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).” There is a substantial research supporting the use of Aided Language Input to improve the student’s understanding that their behaviors are communicative, that symbols allow them to communicate with a larger audience and,  improve overall language development through expanding messages. Project Core, “Research Specific to: Aided Language Input”

Development Resources

Aided Language Input Partner Training Plan- DTA Schools Original

This is a PLAN to begin increasing the comfort level of adult partners learning to use their student's AAC system for modeling and teaching.  We start with a single target word/message and practice for 15 minutes, 3x/week for 2 weeks.  For facilitators (AT Specialist, classroom teacher, SLP) there are planning sheets with a simple lesson plan to help you get started.  This program is designed to be accomplished in 3 weeks, with the end goal of increasing adult partner's comfort touching the AAC systems and systematically increasing the number of times they model communication for their student.

You can download the file on this page, AND take a look at the Training Series: Learning to Teach Communication through Core Words.

This training series gives adult partners step by step tools to practice using core words with their students, as well as providing videos and links of content to introduce core words to our students.

Learning Resources:

DTA Schools Partner Strategies Webinars

Key Partner Communication Supports for AAC

In this video we are exploring "how to talk so students will listen and how to listen so students will talk"- AAC Style! These are strategies that WE can use to encourage our students to communicate with us (speaking AND non-speaking students)! We are concentrating on helping build confidence and eagerness to communicate in all of our students!  After you watch the webinar, click the "get credit!" button to take the short quiz  and earn a certificate for continuing education maintenance hours. (ASHA CMHs or for proof of attendance)


AAC Partner Strategies:  SMORRES & Supports

In this video we are exploring Aided Language Input strategies to encourage our students to use their AAC systems for a variety of communication purposes.  We will look at Senner & Baud's SMORRES acronym to help us remember all our AAC partner strategies!​

Webinars & Videos on Partner Strategies: Jill Senner & Matthew Baud

Talking With Tech

Interviews Jill Senner and Matthew Baud researchers on the forefront of AAC Partner Strategies training

AAC In the Cloud Conference: ​SMoRRES and Partner-Augmented Input -- Keys to Successful Modeling, Senner & Baud, 2019

Webinars & Videos on Partner Strategies: Tabi Jones Wohleber

Talking with Tech interviews Tabi Jones Wohleber

On her Model as a MASTERPAL framework

Tabi Jones Wohleber has developed a wonderful set of training resources she freely offers to help AAC partners learn key strategies for encouraging communication from their students. Her entire series is published on PrAACtical AAC Website.  Sit back because this one is chock full of ideas and resources!

PrAACtical AAC Website