Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Dr. Ruth Crutchfield

Second Advisor

Dr. Donald Fuller

Third Advisor

Mayra Perez


This investigation analyzes how often AAC users typically utilize their devices throughout their day in their school setting. A survey method was implemented where elementary school educators were asked to report on their special education students use of their device during their school day. To identify special education educators' perceptions regarding the use of AAC devices in the public-school system, special education educators in the public-school system were contacted via email to conduct a survey in regard to current practice in their school setting regarding AAC use.

A letter of consent was obtained from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Communication and Sciences Disorders program to access email from special education educators. Competency is a vital key in providing effective service delivery. A majority of participants indicated that they felt moderately competent in supporting learners who use communication devices (47.83% n=11), followed by 26.09% (n=6) of participants who said they feel slightly competent in supporting learners who use communication devices.

A return rate of 5% which is a glimpse of what is taking place in the world of AAC and AAC educators. Many special education educators have "tried" AAC but don't follow through with it because there's a lack of education/training and a lack of support from administration, teachers, and parents. A high percentage of participants (39.13%) indicated that the device was very useful in allowing the student to socialize with peers.


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