Over the last several years, I've developed three tools to support those who work with children and adults who do not speak. These tools can be used as part of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) in schools but are also designed to support education over a lifetime. Originally presented at the 2007 Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference these tools are now available for free by clicking the links below (they will download as Microsoft Word files):
1. I have organized the Hearing Them Into Voice protocol so that each description of the child’s (or adult's) communication fits into one of 3 meaningful communicative functions. These functions are (1) social interaction, (2) sharing of information, and (3) expressing unique identities. The Summary page and Especially for parents page remain the same. This organization guides the discussion of communication partner response and measures.
2. I have added a suggested Communication Partner Response Chart and Related Communication Goals for most of the descriptions of the child’s communication, as interpreted by parents, educators, and speech language pathologists on the Hearing Them Into Voice instrument. These too are organized around the communication functions. Goals are written for further instructional use of these messages including using augmentative and alternative communication. Educational teams can prioritize the strengths of each communicative function and select meaningful goals that the student will communicate across environments.
3. Finally a 4 page Measures of Functional Communication has been added. Beginning with the baseline on the 1st descriptions on the Hearing Them into Voice instrument, the team members observe and record the child’s increase or decrease of each communication function 3 months to 1 year later. Each communication function goal will be rated on a scale of -2, -1, 0, +1, +2. -1 is baseline, -2 regression from goal, 0 achieving goal, +1 exceeding expectations and +2 consistently used across environments. Social Interaction can be monitored by reviewing the specific indicators listed. Descriptions of Sharing Information also yield an overall rating on the scale of -2 to +2. Finally descriptions of a child Expressing His/Her Unique Identity are used to evaluate changes in this important communication function. The Summary includes the scores on all three functions. Based upon that information, the team selects the next, most important functional need for instruction and support.