Organizing Language and Literacy Instruction for Learners who use AAC: Goal Driven Planning and Instruction


April 19-21, 2016, Pittsburgh


The focus of this 2.5 day seminar will be to provide learners with a theoretical and practical foundation for the use of core vocabulary as it pertains to language and vocabulary development for augmented communicators as well as how to integrate the use of core vocabulary as a primary strategy for targeting communication and language in home and academic settings.   Language and literacy instruction must be explicit, systematic and relevant for students who use AAC.  During this seminar, our guest speaker will provide a set of tools to organize instruction to make teaching more intentional while supporting the generalization of skills across educational and communication contexts.  Participants will learn practical frameworks for designing and organizing language and literacy instruction in an AAC classroom. Personal Narrative as a platform for instruction, long term planning for communicative competence and Backwards Planning with I, WE, YOU, I lesson plan will be discussed and demonstrated.


Bruce Baker, PhD

Michele Boruta, MS Ed.

Deborah Laurent Witkowski, MA, CCC-SLP

Tracy M. Kovach, PhD, CCC-SLP

Russell Cross

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Explain why core vocabulary, not extended vocabulary, should be emphasized in AAC intervention.
  2. Describe the relationship between the use of core vocabulary and normal language development.
  3. Describe the difference between a needs-based communication display and a language-based communication display. Identify two key differences between referential and descriptive teaching strategies.
  4. Identify the challenges with using a page-based system in an AAC device.
  5. Discuss the impact of motor automaticity in the successful use of AAC devices.
  6. Discuss the need for an AAC scope and sequence.
  7. Discuss the role of joint encoding in memory and narrative.
  8. Describe the importance of explicit learning strategies and starting and ending every lesson with a child-friendly learning target.
  9. Generate linguistically oriented IEP goals and objectives for students who use AAC.
  10. Discuss strategies that enable students who use AAC to demonstrate learning to demonstrate learning within the components of Bloom’s Taxonomy.


This activity is offered for up to 1.9 CEUs (19.0 hours of instruction). To register for CEUs:
  1. Download, and complete the following forms.
  2. Save the files names: 160421_SCS_Lastname-Firstname.xls
  3. Send both files to
  4. CEU certificate will be sent after submitting the two forms

Note: If any difficulty is encountered in using this form, write to to request an alternative file format.