Culturally and Linguistically Responsive AAC: Meeting the Needs of ALL Clients


March 19-22, 2019, Pittsburgh, PA


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.  Our guest presenter, Gloria Soto, PhD, will present on the topic culturally and linguistically responsive AAC that meets the needs of all clients.  In the US many clients in need of AAC services come from culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) backgrounds. Although in principle, service providers may see the need to preserve their clients’ heritage languages and cultures, they may lack the knowledge and means to do so. Both intrinsic (e.g., second language competency, beliefs, mindset) and extrinsic factors (e.g., available technologies) may account for service providers’ clinical decisions and choices on language use. Appropriate AAC service delivery to clients from CLD backgrounds requires not only appropriate technologies but also research-based evidence on the efficacy of intervention approaches.  This seminar will describe the principles of a culturally and linguistically responsive approach to AAC and the existing evidence supporting that course of action. These principles and evidence will be applied to five broad areas of AAC practice including: (a) culturally responsive AAC assessment;

(b) culturally responsive AAC programming and intervention;

(c) culturally responsive collaborative teaming;

(d) culturally responsive development of AAC applications to support language development in children who are       exposed to more than one language; and

(e) professional development to support the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse clients. 


Bruce Baker, PhD

Deborah Laurent Witkowski, MA, CCC-SLP

Tracy M. Kovach, PhD, CCC-SLP

Russell Cross

Gloria Soto, PhD

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. 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. Identify two key differences between referential and descriptive teaching strategies.
  7. Describe and address the main challenges in providing AAC services to children with complex communication needs from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in the United States.
  8. Discuss the principle of culturally and linguistically relevant AAC assessment and intervention.
  9. Design multifaceted assessment and intervention plans that address the cultural and linguistic needs of clients from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
  10. Generate linguistically oriented IEP goals and objectives for students who use AAC.
  11. 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 (19.2 hours of instruction). To register for CEUs:
  1. Download, and complete the following forms.
  2. Save the files names: 190321_SCS_Lastname_Firstname
  3. Send both files to
  4. Upon completion of the two forms and passing the quiz, a CEU certificate will be sent

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