Addressing the Needs of Children With Complex Communication Needs and Their Partners in Areas of Poverty: To Haiti and Back An estimated 1 billion people (15% of the world's population) experience a disability, such as a communication disability. Individuals with disabilities have an increased likelihood of living in poverty and often experience decreased access to medical, educational, and rehabilitation services (Danquah et al., 2014; World Health Organization & The World ... Article
Article  |   September 06, 2017
Addressing the Needs of Children With Complex Communication Needs and Their Partners in Areas of Poverty: To Haiti and Back
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jessica Gormley
    The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Jessica Gormley has no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Jessica Gormley has no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: Jessica Gormley has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Jessica Gormley has no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / School-Based Settings / International & Global / Part 1
Article   |   September 06, 2017
Addressing the Needs of Children With Complex Communication Needs and Their Partners in Areas of Poverty: To Haiti and Back
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, September 2017, Vol. 2, 23-36. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG12.23
History: Received March 27, 2017 , Revised May 16, 2017 , Accepted July 14, 2017
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, September 2017, Vol. 2, 23-36. doi:10.1044/persp2.SIG12.23
History: Received March 27, 2017; Revised May 16, 2017; Accepted July 14, 2017

An estimated 1 billion people (15% of the world's population) experience a disability, such as a communication disability. Individuals with disabilities have an increased likelihood of living in poverty and often experience decreased access to medical, educational, and rehabilitation services (Danquah et al., 2014; World Health Organization & The World Bank, 2011) with approximately two-thirds of the world's poor living in low-and middle-income nations such as Haiti (Rank & Yadama, 2007). The aim of this article is to describe augmentative and alternative (AAC) service delivery considerations for speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who work with individuals who live in poverty. Case examples of AAC services within areas of poverty in Haiti and the United States are provided to illustrate practice recommendations. To achieve best-practice standards, SLPs who provide AAC services must consider how poverty might influence a family's socio-historic context, access to resources and services, and community participation goals. Furthermore, it is critical that SLPs recognize individuals' and families' strengths, evaluate the sustainability of AAC services, and work within a team to empower individuals with complex communication needs to participate in desired roles within the community.

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