Bilingualism and AAC: Debunking Myths and Defining Guidelines


November 27-29, 2018, Online


This 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.  Our guest speakers will discuss current trends in bilingual AAC.  The evidence in bilingual AAC at this time remains scarce; however, clinicians, families and people with complex communication needs are regularly confronted with critical decisions about dual language use and AAC.  Unfortunately, common myths related to language learning, bilingualism and disability often pervade this decision-making process. Misinformation may contribute to inappropriate device selection, subsequent device abandonment and ultimately inequitable communication access for bilingual AAC users. This presentation sets the record straight by debunking myths about bilingualism in AAC and establishing guiding practices for clinicians, families, and AAC users from culturally-linguistically diverse backgrounds. Then, these guidelines are applied to AAC assessment, intervention and day-to-day communication. Finally, participants will implement their new knowledge through case studies and interactive activities.


Bruce Baker, PhD

Deborah Laurent Witkowski, MA, CCC-SLP

Tracy M. Kovach, PhD, CCC-SLP

Russell Cross

Ellyn McNamara, M.S., CCC-SLP

Holly M. Delgado, M.A., CCC-SLP 

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.
  4. Discuss the impact of motor automaticity in the successful use of AAC devices.
  5. Describe the relationship between societal beliefs and access to AAC systems, supports and services for multilingual individuals with complex communication needs.
  6. Identify one key similarity and one key difference between monolingual and bilingual AAC intervention.
  7. Discuss strategies that support AAC-mediated dual language development and maintenance.
  8. Identify two key differences between referential and descriptive teaching strategies.
  9. 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: 181129_SCS_Lastname_Firstname
  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.