Survey of AAC Needs for Adults With Intellectual Disability in New Zealand


The authors surveyed New Zealand residential facilities and assisted-living programs for adults with intellectual disabilities to document the need for, and provision of, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Organizations (n  = 100) registered to provide residential care or assisted living to adults with intellectual disabilities across New Zealand were invited to complete a paper or online survey. Fifty-seven organizations representing 127 separate facilities or assisted-living programs responded. The facilities and programs accommodated 2,356 adults and employed 3,062 staff members. Nearly one-third (28.8%) of the adults were identified as candidates for AAC intervention. However, most staff members had limited or no AAC experience and perceived considerable need for training in this area. The authors conclude that there is substantial need for AAC intervention among adults with ID in New Zealand residential facilities and assisted-living programs. To facilitate this need, support staff members may need training to ensure effective interaction with AAC users and competence in providing effective AAC intervention.


Sutherland, D., van der Meer, L., Sigafoos, J., Mirfin-Veitch, B., Milner, P., O’Reilly, M. F., . . . Marschik, P. B. (2014). Survey of AAC needs of adults with intellectual disability in New Zealand. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 26, 115–122.