The Department of Speech and Language Development / Blissymbolics Resource Centre at Lorna Linda University Medical Center is proposing to provide a comprehensive Augmentative Communication Model Program (ACMP) which will serve non-vocal severely physically handicapped (NVSPH) students in the Inland Empire area. The model program would offer a trans-disciplinary team approach to the assessment of each student for appropriate selection, fitting, modification and continuing evaluation of communication prostheses designed to meet individual needs. It is felt that these services are vital to the establishment of appropriate educational programs for NVSPH students as mandated by Public Law 94-142 and implemented in California by AB 1250.

A grant application (13.443D) has been submitted to the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped requesting federal funding to establish the three-year model program. Funding criteria require evidence of planning in specific areas (as addressed in the text of the application) in conjunction with the following:

  1. documentation of need for the proposed services
  2. introduction of objectives for the proposed program to appropriate community and agency representatives
  3. documentation of support form, and cooperation with, existing community and public agencies
  4. recruitment of volunteer advisory committee members.

It was the intent of this study to address these four needs.

A ninety-minute introductory presentation was developed to acquaint inservice participants with specific needs of NVSPH students, review the range of techniques and prostheses which are currently available, and present the objectives of the proposed ACMP. The lecture material was supported by printed handouts and audiovisual aids.

Each presentation included a pre- and post-test covering key points related to the topics discussed. In addition, a survey about services currently available to NVSPH students in this geographic area was taken.

Since literature suggested that well informed individuals would serve as more effective advocates for needed change, pre-/post-test comparisons were completed to identify the initial NVSPH-related knowledge of participants, and to determine any significant knowledge increase.

Of fifty-five individuals who attended one of four presentations, thirty completed and returned a matched pre-/post-test survey. These were the subjects for the survey evaluation and the statistical analysis of pre- and post-presentation tests.

Survey results indicated an acute need for the treatment and training services of the ACMP. Although more than fifty percent of the subjects indicated service involvement with "severely speech-language handicapped" students, less than thirty-five percent identified classes taken or books read to increase understanding of NVSPH communicative needs and appropriate management techniques. Only six percent of the subjects indicated involvement in a consultative or advocacy group, and less than thirty percent evaluated current trans-disciplinary professional involvement to be truly cooperative.

Pre-/post-test score analyses indicated that there was a significant increase in knowledge of general communication information (Topic I) , but knowledge related to recent developments on NVSPH alternative techniques/ prostheses and assessment/selection procedures (Topics II and III) showed a highly significant increase.

Forty-one individuals signed the petition endorsing the ACMP objectives as presented in the introductory presentation; five indicated interest in serving on the ACMP advisory committee. Nine participants sent personal letters to document their support of the proposed ACMP.

It was concluded that there is a definite need for both the treatment and training services proposed by the ACMP and that local educational agencies are anxious to cooperate in the establishment of this service delivery model.

LLU Discipline

Speech Pathology


Communicative Disorders


Graduate School

First Advisor

Melvin S. Cohen

Second Advisor

Robert S. Stretter

Third Advisor

Eugene A. Fahlbusch

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Communicative Disorders -- therapy; Communicative Disorders -- rehabilitation



Page Count

130 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives