The Process 

You have selected a speech disability. You will work in groups of three. Within the group, each of you will take on one of the following roles:


While you want to enable Darla to be as successful as possible, you feel Darla can be understood virtually unaided.  You notice that she has been working hard to communicate her thoughts through her own speech since her picture board is no longer adequate for her vocabulary. 




You want to find the communication tools and techniques that will enable Darla to expand her vocabulary and communicate easily with her peers.  You believe that the school should spare no expense in providing the best technology available for you daughter.

Speech Pathologist

You are viewed as the expert in speech therapy.  You have read about some assistive technologies, but you have never worked with a student who used or needed assistive technologies.  While you believe assistive technology could help Darla, you don’t know very much about specific assistive technology products, yet you know that your recommendation will probably be given the heaviest weight.


1.  Individually, you'll examine the sites below and jot down some notes of your opinions of each from the perspective of your role. Your task is to learn a little more about her problem, determine what would help Darla achieve her potential, and determine what would be considered reasonable accommodation. Each of your team members will research possible solutions while playing a role of one of the members of a multidisciplinary team.  REMEMBER not to get out of character. 

2.  Your job will be to determine the best solution and present that solution to the principal of the school. The principal will ask you to justify the cost of the solution based on the benefit to the student and ask you about what kind of needs you will have for the implementation and evaluation of the proposed solution. He will also want to know his legal responsibility.  Be prepared to speak to these issues


3.  Study the evaluation rubric before you begin so you know what is expected of you and how you will be evaluated.

4.  Here are a few resources to get you started.  Hopefully they will lead you in many interesting directions.  

Links to Helpful Websites

Understanding Disabilities Creating Opportunities

Ability Hub – Assistive Technology Solutions

Suite101.Com Real People Helping Real People

National Center to Improve Practice in Special Education through Technology, Media and Materials                                                    

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Augmentative and Alternative Communication

Circle of Inclusion                                      

Cerebral Palsy – A Multimedia Resource for Children and Parents


5.  When everyone in the group has seen all the sites, you will convene in the chat room to discuss the problem, alternative solutions and to come to agreement on the best solution for Darla's problem. You are encouraged to use these steps in your process:

Define the Problem
Identify a goal
Gather information
Generate solutions
Evaluate the alternatives
Select best alternative
Evaluate yourself and your group


6.  There will probably not be unanimous agreement, so the next step is to talk together to hammer out a compromise consensus about your team's recommendation. Pool your perspectives and see if you can agree on what's best for everyone involved.

7.  One person in each group should record the group's thoughts.

8.  Evaluate yourself and your group using the evaluation rubric.    Do you think the other groups will agree with your conclusions?