Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


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Paper presented at Clinical Aphasiology Conference (2013 : 43rd : Tucson, AZ : May 28-June 2, 2013)


Copyright (c) 2013 Dietz, Aimee Rebekah and Weissling, Kristy and Griffith, Julie and McKelvey, Miechelle.


Over time, and with intensive instruction, people with aphasia (PWAs) can learn to use grid-based, categorically organized, high-technology AAC layouts during structured tasks (e.g., Hough & Johnson, 2009). In an effort to reduce the training intensity required to teach PWAs to use AAC; researchers developed visual scene displays (VSDs), designed to complement the residual cognitive and linguistic abilities of PWAs by tapping their intact episodic memory. VSD interfaces incorporate personally relevant (PR) photos, text, and speech output (Dietz, McKelvey, & Beukelman, 2006; Weissling & Beukelman, 2006). VSDs appear to facilitate improved communication success (e.g., McKelvey, Dietz, Hux, Weissling, & Beukelman, 2007) as well as relatively efficient learning of system navigation with less instruction than reported for traditional grid layouts (McKelvey et al., 2007; Wallace & Hux, 2012). Figure 1 contrasts VSD and grid interfaces. The success of VSDs is frequently attributed to the PR photographs; however, investigators have not examined the impact of the various VSD elements on communication behaviors. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the influence of PR photographs and the presence of text on a VSD interface on the communication behaviors of PWAs during a narrative retell task.