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Complex contextual influences on the communicative interactions of students with multiple and severe disabilities

De Bortoli, Tania, Arthur-Kelly, Michael, Foreman, Phil, Balandin, Susan, Mathisen, Bernice,

Academic Literature

2011

The aim of this study was to explore teachers' perceptions and experiences of supports and obstacles to engaging students with multiple and severe disabilities (MSD) in communicative interactions at school.

Participants identified a broad range of factors, including: characteristics of individual students, attitudes, perceptions and beliefs of teachers and other staff, class structure, staffing, opportunities for collegiality, resources, funding, infrastructure, collaboration with speech-language pathologists, appropriate communication education for teachers, the role of government departments, and broader societal factors. The findings suggest that there are complex contextual influences on the communicative interactions of students with MSD. While inadequate systemic supports appear to contribute to low frequencies of communication, systemic factors can be structured so that students participate in activities and have opportunities for communication.

Publication information

Journal/Publication : International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology

Location : International

Domain/s: Education, Transport and communication

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