Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Document Type


Date of this Version



Aphasiology Conference paper, 2013.


Copyright (c) 2013 Dryden Griffith, Julie and Dietz, Aimee and Weissling, Kristi.


People with aphasia (PWAs) have demonstrated the ability to learn augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices that employ traditional grid layouts to enhance their communication; however, the process is typically lengthy and yields limited generalization (Fox & Fried-Oken, 2001; Koul & Harding, 1998). In response, researchers have begun to investigate the use of visual scene displays (VSDs) to support the communication interactions of PWAs by capitalizing on their relatively intact episodic memory (Beukelman, Dietz, McKelvey, Hux, & Weissling, in press; Dietz, Beukelman, & McKelvey, 2006a; Dietz, McKelvey, Beukelman, Weissling, & Hux, 2006b; McKelvey, Dietz, Hux, Weissling, & Beukelman, 2007). High-technology VSDs may include various combinations of photographs, text boxes and speak buttons (see Figure 1); however, the specific elements of VSDs that best support the communication of PWAs is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to compare the impact of personally relevant (PR) photographs and line drawings (LDs) as well as the presence of text on four AAC interfaces, on the communication of PWAs during a personal narrative retell task.