Despite legislation in the U.S.A requiring the use of assistive technology in special education, there remains an underutilization of technology-based speech intervention for young students who require augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). The purpose of this Policy Delphi study was to address three guiding research questions that relate to the feasibility of using mainstream mobile technology, facilitative actions, and stakeholder roles for implementation and utilization of AAC in elementary school settings. Data were collected in two rounds of questionnaires given to experts in special education, assistive technology and speech and language pathology, with experience in AAC. Round 1 included 19 participants, 14 of whom also completed the Round 2 questionnaire. The results indicated that a very strong case can be made that mainstream mobile devices have several advantages over traditional AAC systems, not only in their affordability, but also transparency and social acceptance by providing an ideal medium for inclusion in mainstream settings. A challenge that confronts AAC innovations is the tendency to focus on the technology instead of pedagogical, social and therapeutic goals. Until a perfect AAC system becomes available for mainstream mobile devices that meet individuals’ communicative, educational and physical needs and personal preferences, it is apparent that multimodality will continue to be the model. The utilization of mainstream mobile technology for AAC necessitates certain facilitative actions and stakeholder responsibilities. Team collaboration is essential in supporting AAC use and, when applicable, facilitating the inclusion and mainstreaming of students who use AAC in the general education setting.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Learning technologies; Students with disabilities -- Means of communication; Mobile communication systems in education

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Thompson, Paula