Although students primarily use their augmentative communication devices in school, they must also learn how to use them at home and within their community. This not only reinforces the communication skills that are learned in school, but helps students generalize them in other settings (Dell, Newton, Petroff, 2012). In order to help students use their communication devices outside of the learning environment, the teacher must build family involvement and must help with carrying over what is taught in the classroom and how it can be used in the home and the community. Providing parents and family members with appropriate training's will help them support their child outside of the learning environment.
It might seem simple to increase the use of augmentative communication at home, however, when it comes to expanding the device into the community, it becomes more difficult. The community is a large environment that may include individuals who are not familiar with augmentative communication devices. For this reason, it is important that the teacher not only informs family members, but also make the community knowledgeable by taking students on field trips. By using augmentative communication devices in public areas, community members will become more aware of how they work and how to interact with those individuals who use them. The student will not only be able to reinforce what they are learning in the classroom environment, but will also learn ways to communicate while in public areas such as the grocery store.
Dell, A.G., Newton, D.A., Petroff, J.G. (2012). Assistive Technology in the Classroom; Enhancing the School Experiences of Students with Disabilities. 2nd Edition.