AAC Partnership Program

Introduction to the program:

Many Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) have completed training in providing Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) services, and many children with complex communication needs can receive AAC service from their local SLP. However, some children will require specialized AAC services. Unfortunately, there are very few specialty centers, like the Communication Aids and Systems Clinic (CASC), in the state of Wisconsin. This has resulted in a lengthy waiting list for children to access CASC services. Typically, CASC staff provide the full intervention for each child, which is a 6-12 month process and includes the evaluation, completion of a rental of the selected system, and ongoing therapy to support use of the device.

The AAC Partnership Program (AAC-PP) is designed to reduce the wait time for services for children who require AAC by offering an expedited feature matching evaluation. CASC staff invite the child, family, and intervention team to participate in trials with CASC’s robust AAC library in a single evaluation. (Note: Some children have more complex needs and a single evaluation is not enough to complete a feature matching process.) Ongoing remote support is then provided in completing the rest of the funding process, as well as supporting ongoing intervention and implementation across settings.

Making a referral:

To refer a client to the AAC partnership program, please fax the CASC Release of Information form to:
(608) 265-9851
Attention: AAC-Partnership Program

Before the evaluation:

The AAC-PP has partnered with the AAC Learning Center at Penn State to offer a series of e-learning modules focused on advancing knowledge of AAC. Please work your way through each module including: the quizzes, Certificates of Completion, and feedback surveys. Please save your Certificate of Completion to track your professional development hours/continuing education units. Your Certificate is also stored at the Moodle site if you should need it in the future.

Please click here to create a free account and enroll in the courses.

Additionally, it is helpful to complete the Provider Pre-Visit Questionnaire to provide background information on your student, AAC options trialed in the past, unique learning needs, and goals for the visit. This information can be faxed to 608-265-9851 or emailed to the SLP you have been in contact with.

What to expect during the evaluation:

The evaluation will take place at:
Waisman Center
1500 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53705

Please park in a blue-lined stall and proceed through the lobby to the clinics’ registration desk to check-in for an appointment. You will need to provide the receptionist with your license plate number and then you will be directed to the appropriate room for the evaluation.

The evaluation is typically 90 minutes. It consists of parent and team interview, multiple device trials, and creation of a wrap-up plan.

After the evaluation:

Following the evaluation, the CASC team member will submit paperwork to a device company to request a rental of the device, copying appropriate team members (e.g., local SLP, family, etc.) on all correspondence. Additionally, the CASC team member will complete the initial evaluation report following insurance guidelines and send this the local SLP for review and to add the purchase addendum for the device at a later date.

Additional resources provided include:

  1. Data collection sheets: To be used to track student progress at both home and school during rental period.
  2. Sample purchase addendum: To help guide generating needed funding documentation.
  3. Template to complete the Prior Authorization for Durable Medical Equipment (PADMEA) as required by Wisconsin Medicaid for SGD funding.

Additional supports and resources:

CASC staff are available for ongoing remote support following the initial evaluation. This includes support for generating funding paperwork, collecting data, and implementing the system both prior to and following purchase. If additional in-person support is needed, further visits can be scheduled in the Communication Aids and Systems Clinic.

Additionally, each Speech Generating Device (SGD) company can provide ongoing operational and technical assistance for their unique product. You will be provided with the contact information for your student’s SGD vendor during the evaluation.

Some helpful resources include:

  • Dynamic AAC Goals Grid
  • We also encourage individuals to consider participating in the ECHO AAC program for additional training and support.
  • Past ECHO AAC sessions can be found here. Topics include: core vocabulary, goal writing, language intervention through AAC, feature matching, literacy, and more.

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