An Evidence-Based Approach to Augmentative and Alternative Communication Design for Individuals With Cortical Visual Impairment

Krista M. Wilkinson, Lynn R. Elko, Emma Elko, Tara V. McCarty, Dawn J. Sowers, Sarah Blackstone, Christine Roman-Lantzy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This article highlights the contributions of three pillars of an evidence-based practice approach (service providers, researchers, and families/clients) in the development of a framework to offer a way forward for professionals, families, and technology companies to support optimal visual and communication outcomes of individuals with cortical visual impairment (CVI) who use augmentative and alterna-tive communication (AAC). By providing available research findings as well as prac-tical information and lived experiences, the article offers clinical considerations and design features that can lead to addressing the unique needs of these individuals. Method: This article reviews literature concerning what is known about CVI and describes in detail and from multiple viewpoints important features required in AAC systemstosupportindividualswithCVIandenablethemtocommunicateeffectively. Results: Components necessary for teams, communication partners, and AAC designerstooptimizeAACsystemdesigninCVIarepresentedusingexternalresearch evidenceasinternalevidencefromlivedexperiencetosupporttheirimportance. Conclusions: An AAC system design that is tailored to the unique visual pro-cessing characteristics in CVI is likely to promote positive communication out-comes. The presentation of the lived experience of an individual who has CVI themselves illustrates the need for individualized assessments and interventions that incorporate and reflect the research presented here. Supplemental Material:

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1939-1960
Number of pages22
JournalAmerican journal of speech-language pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing

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