Teaching Age Appropriate Learning through Communications (TAALC) FY20

  • Kearns, Jacqueline (PI)
  • Abner, Gerald (CoI)
  • Page, Judith (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


The 2014 Next Generations Support Plan (Kentucky Department of Education) suggests that the provision of supports and services enable ALL students to have equitable access to well-rounded educational experiences (e.g., the arts, health and physical education, career/technical pathways as well as core academics). The emphasis on ALL students suggests that supports for students with significant cognitive disabilities, including those with complex communication needs, are essential for these students to access well-rounded educational experiences. TAALC project has implemented a tiered model of professional education to improve teacher competence in teaching and student outcomes in the basic acquisition of symbolic language and communication. Some improvements are note-worthy. Specifically, data from the 2016 administration of the Alternate K-Prep and Learner Characteristics Inventory communication items indicated that the percentage of students identified as pre-symbolic expressive language users decreased by a little more than half - from 12% to approximately 5% in all but 3rd grade. As indicated above, the third grade is the exception at 13%. The reduction in students identified as pre-symbolic is notable when compared with similar data from other states (Kearns et al., 2015). TAALC supports school teams in communication interventions that support students resulting in the access to AAC and improvements in symbolic communication overall. Approximately, 400 – 500 teachers and speech language pathologists have received Tier1 or basic training in the identification of communication among students with significant communication needs. This training and technical support could certainly be a major contributor to the overall improvement in the data. Project Future Forward TAALC will increase communication outcomes for students with significant cognitive disabilities, educate parents, disseminate video strategies, build capacity and coordinate with other initiatives.
Effective start/end date7/1/196/30/20


  • KY Department of Education: $159,456.00


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