Ongoing Assessment that Guides Intervention and Develops Communicative Competence


November 5-7 2019, Pittsburgh, PA


Determining levels of communicative competence through ongoing AAC assessment is essential to providing guidance in developing interventions strategies, and achieving meaningful and measureable outcomes that increase communicative competence rather than arbitrary goal attainment for individuals using AAC. Using a process of ongoing AAC assessment enables development of individual AAC performance profiles, more comprehensive and evidence-based treatment plans, and effective AAC team management when varying levels of knowledge about AAC may otherwise impede the focus of an individual’s AAC program.

This presentation will focus on the topic of ongoing assessment that can guide intervention planning. It will review definitions of communicative competence (Light ’89, ‘14) and how these can be initially assessed, guide intervention planning and measure progress for individuals who use AAC. Case examples are used to demonstrate assessment, intervention planning, and progress measurement that maximize outcomes toward language development and communicative competence.


Bruce Baker, PhD

Deborah Laurent Witkowski, MA, CCC-SLP

Tracy M. Kovach, PhD, CCC-SLP

Russell Cross

Learning Outcomes:

Explain why core vocabulary, not extended vocabulary, should be emphasized in AAC intervention.

Describe the relationship between the use of core vocabulary and normal language development.

Describe the difference between a needs-based communication display and a language-based communication display.

Identify the challenges with using a page-based system in an AAC device.

Discuss the impact of motor automaticity in the successful use of AAC devices.

Describe how “ongoing assessment” can identify functional skills and guide skill development.

Identified 4 areas of learning that contribute to the development of communicative competence using AAC.

Discuss the reason for using ongoing assessment to promote language and communicative competence development. 

Identify two key differences between referential and descriptive teaching strategies.

Generate linguistically oriented IEP goals and objectives for students who use AAC.

Discuss strategies that enable students who use AAC to demonstrate learning to demonstrate learning within the components of Bloom’s Taxonomy.


CEUs This activity is offered for up to 2.0 CEUs (19.7 hours of instruction). To register for CEUs:  

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Upon completion of the two forms and passing the quiz, a CEU certificate will be sent

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