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Make Them See You as a Person: Strategies for Improving Patient-Provider Communication As Described by Adults Who Use AAC

July 13, 2022 7:00 pm 8:00 pm


Individuals who rely on AAC frequently experience difficult interactions with healthcare providers. Individuals with complex communication needs are three times more likely to experience negative medical care events than people without complex communication needs This webinar will describe what AAC professionals can do to support people who use AAC in communicating with healthcare providers. We also will discuss the results of a recent study in which over 30 adults who use AAC described positive and negative interactions with medical professionals, and shared recommendations for increasing successful outcomes. Resources for improving patient-provider communication for AAC users will be provided.


Dave Chapple is a Project Co-Leader of Training and Dissemination for the RERC on AAC. He is also vice-president of an accessible housing cooperative in Austin Texas, and an employee of Training for Transformation. In his spare time, he authors the blog, “Speaking with Professionals Alternatively” about how people who rely on AAC interact with people from various professions. David McNaughton, Ph.D. is a Professor of Special Education at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. McNaughton’s teaching and research focuses on the development of effective educational programs for individuals with significant support needs. He is especially interested in how AAC can be designed and supported to achieve important educational and vocational outcomes. He is a Project Co-Leader of Training and Dissemination for the RERC on AAC. Tracy Rackensperger, Ph.D. is a Public Service Assistant within the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, Institute on Human Development and Disability at the University of Georgia where she oversees the development and implementation of community education and outreach activities for the Institute’s numerous programs for people with disabilities, family members, paraprofessionals, policymakers, and the public. She also prepares articles for media publication. Dr. Rackensperger has conducted a number of research studies, including published scholarly works regarding augmentative communication and people with disabilities. She has personally used AAC for over 35 years. She is a Project Co-Leader for Training and Dissemination with the RERC on AAC.


  • Identify issues related to patient-provider communication for people who rely on AAC.
  • Discuss results of a recent study related to patient-provider communication and people who rely on AAC.
  • Provide recommendations about what AAC professionals can do to improve patient provider communication.


  • 5 minutes: Introduction of speaker, USSAAC and topic
  • 10 minutes: Overview of work we have done related to patient-provider communication and people who rely on AAC.
  • 20 minutes: Results of our study on the positive and negative experiences of people who rely on AAC during patient-provider interactions.
  • 20 minutes: What AAC professionals can do to improve patient-provider communication.
  • 5 minutes: Q and A
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) CEUs in speech-language pathology and audiology are awarded by the ASHA CE Registry upon receipt of the CEU Participant Form from the ASHA Approved CE Provider, USSAAC. CEU Participant Forms are available onsite at Registration. ASHA CEUs are provided to full registrations. This program is offered for .1 ASHA CEUs (Introductory Level, Professional Area)

ASHA Disclosures:

  •  Speakers
    • Financial:
      • David Chapple is paid by RERC on AAC through Pennsylvania State University.
      • David McNaughton is a salaried faculty member at Pennsylvania State University and is paid by RERC on AAC.
      • Tracy Rackensperger is a salaried faculty member at University of Georgia and compensated by RERC on AAC through Pennsylvania State University.
    • Nonfinancial:
      • Tracy Rackensperger is the President-Elect of USSAAC.
      • David Chapple has no nonfinancial disclosures to report.
      • David McNaughton has no nonfinancial disclosures to report
  •  Moderator Sarah Blackstone has no financial or non-financial disclosures to report.



To register for this Webinar please go to the following link:


PLEASE NOTE: Only the first 150 attendees to log into the webinar will be guaranteed spots.

USSAAC EDUCATION COMMITTEE: Betsy Caporale, Gretchen Cole-Lade, Richard Hurtig, Stephanie Meehan, Wendy Quach

Follow Us: @USSAAC #USSAAChat

Contact Us: membership@ussaac.org

Join Us: USSAAC.org/membership


July 13, 2022
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
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