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Employment and Individuals who use AAC

    David McNaughton

David McNaughton

Pennsylvania State University

    Anthony Arnold

Anthony Arnold

Prentke Romich Company



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Webcast Description

Employment is a key issue in the lives of many individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). In this free webcast, David McNaughton and Anthony Arnold share research findings on key supports to employment for individuals who use AAC, and describe the employment success stories of a variety of individuals who use AAC:

• "Haylie", a young woman who, working with her employment team, has developed a restaurant delivery business;

• Anthony Arnold, who provides product support for the Prentke Romich company;

• Pam Kennedy, who manages an information outreach project for a federally-funded research grant;

• Solomon Rakhman, who provides information support for the U.S. Navy;

• Ben, a young man who, working with his employment team, operates an organic egg farm.

These success stories are used to illustrate evidence-based practices for supporting employment for individuals who use AAC,  and to demonstrate that participation in the workforce is an achieveable goal for individuals with complex communication needs.

Additional Resources

 certificate of completion  

Quiz available

A 10-item quiz, based on the content of this webcast, is available here. Additional information on all available quizzes can be seen here.

Employment and Individuals Who Use AAC

McNaughton, D., & Arnold, A., Sennot, S. & Serpentine-Clark, E. (2010). In D. McNaughton & D. Beukelman (Eds.) Transition Strategies for Adolescents and Young Adults Who Use AAC. (p. 111-132). Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.

cover of ACN


In this special issue of Augmentative Communication News, Sarah Blackstone summarizes current research on employment for individuals who use AAC.

 Additional Readings

McNaughton, D., & Bryen, D. N. (2007). AAC technologies to enhance participation and access to meaningful societal roles for adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities who require AAC. Augmentative & Alternative Communication, 23, 217–229.(abstract

McNaughton, D., Light, J., & Arnold, K. (2002). 'Getting your wheel in the door': successful full-time employment experiences of individuals with cerebral palsy who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Augmentative & Alternative Communication, 18, 59-76. (abstract)

McNaughton, D., Light, J., & Gulla, S. (2003). Opening up a ‘whole new world’: Employer and co-worker perspectives on working with individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication. Augmentative & Alternative Communication, 19, 235–253. (abstract)

McNaughton, D., & Arnold, A. (2010). Supporting Positive Employment Outcomes for Individuals Who Use AAC. Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 19(2), 51-59. doi:10.1044/aac19.2.51 





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Transcript (txt format)

Transcript (pdf format)

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