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Office of Shared Accountability Reports

Evaluation of the Facilitated Communication Pilot

Description:

This evaluation of the Facilitated Communication Pilot included all four students (at two elementary schools); key data collection activities were 24 classroom observations and interviews of 12 school-based staff. In facilitated communication, people express themselves by typing with the aid of a communication partner, called a facilitator, who provides physical, emotional, and communication supports. There was evidence for low or moderate implementation for the three types of facilitator supports, for most of the students' facilitated communication skills, and for the school-level best practices that address authorship. These areas of less than full implementation, although not unexpected for the initial year of a project, make it less certain that the students' typed messages about schoolwork demonstrated their own learning. With respect to the pilot's efficacy, there were successes, as indicated by report card grades, along with challenges, as indicated by results on state accountability tests.

Recommendations:

  • Ensure that new facilitators implement physical and emotional supports to students as intended, with more emphasis on communication support.
  • Increase student message production and independence skills when using facilitated communication at school.
  • Identify a case manager for the pilot students to ensure that each student has multiple facilitators, to create and analyze portfolios of student typing, and to create and oversee formal plans for fading physical support.

    File Name: Report Facilitated Commun_Nov 24_Final.pdf (720KB PDF)

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