Case applications in a professional development program for communication partners: Reported changes in participant skills, knowledge and concerns

Year: 1994

Author: Arthur, Michael, Butterfield, Nancy, McKinnon, David

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Communication partners of students with a severe intellectual disability participated in a three-session inservicing program offered at two locations in each of the 10 educational regions of New South Wales. The program introduced a process for assessment, programming and instruction predicated on the reciprocity of communication and the influence of ecological factors in the development of functional communication. Participants were encouraged to apply content and strategies between sessions to the needs of one student and evaluate the intervention process using this practical aspect of the program.

Using pre- and post-questionnaire data, analyses of variance indicated a number of significant reported changes within and across participant groups (teachers, therapists, aides). The program appeared to be successful in addressing participant concerns regarding information about and the impact of communication interventions. Data suggested an increase in the reported skills and knowledge of personnel in the areas of communication assessment, programming and instruction.

Potential applications of this case approach to staff development will be explored in the context of this project.