Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders


Date of this Version



Published in American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology 2021



Copyright © 2021 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.


Purpose: The purpose of this article is to consider how, alongside engineering advancements, noninvasive brain–computer interface (BCI) for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC; BCI-AAC) developments can leverage implementation science to increase the clinical impact of this technology. We offer the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) as a structure to help guide future BCI-AAC research. Specifically, we discuss CFIR primary domains that include intervention characteristics, the outer and inner settings, the individuals involved in the intervention, and the process of implementation, alongside pertinent subdomains including adaptability, cost, patient needs and recourses, implementation climate, other personal attributes, and the process of engaging. The authors support their view with current citations from both the AAC and BCI-AAC fields.

Conclusions: The article aimed to provide thoughtful considerations for how future research may leverage the CFIR to support meaningful BCI-AAC translation for those with severe physical impairments. We believe that, although significant barriers to BCI-AAC development still exist, incorporating implementation research may be timely for the field of BCI-AAC and help account for diversity in end users, navigate implementation obstacles, and support a smooth and efficient translation of BCI-AAC technology. Moreover, the sooner clinicians, individuals who use AAC, their support networks, and engineers collectively improve BCI-AAC outcomes and the efficiency of translation, the sooner BCI-AAC may become an everyday tool in the AAC arsenal.