The Special Education and Communication Disorders - Interdisciplinary Training (SPEAC-IT) Project

Grants and Contracts Details


This Interdisciplinary Personnel Preparation proposal from the University of Kentucky (UK) is for the development and implementation of a program designed to educate special educators and speech-language pathologists to collaborate in the development of effective communication systems for students with high-intensity needs. For purposes of this application, students with high-intensity need are those with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities and complex communication needs. The ability to communicate supports all other educational programming and is a priority for this population. Statewide data from KY's alternate assessment suggest that approximately 15% of students with high-intensity support needs in grades 3 - 12 do not have effective means to communicate expressively - a skill that is essential for access to the general curriculum. SPEAC-IT is designed to address this problem by using an interdisciplinary personnel preparation model to prepare speech-language pathologists and special educators to provide essential communication intervention via interdisciplinary teams. The proposal will integrate competencies from the related service area of Speech-Language Pathology with graduate level Special Education Teacher preparation to increase the knowledge and skills of both speech-language pathologists and special educators in meeting the needs of children with severe and multiple disabilities. Specifically, SPEAC-IT scholars will be prepared to provide effective evidence-based communication intervention via interdisciplinary teams to students with high-intensity communication needs. Scholars will participate in learning activities, including shared interdisciplinary coursework and seminars highlighting evidence-based practices across disciplines, coordinated field experiences, and collaborative assignments. Special education and speech-language pathology at UK have a long history of collaborative projects. UK is uniquely situated geographically to educate personnel for KY's primarily rural population. In addition, the programs have both the professional expertise and the statewide connections to provide a high-quality interdisciplinary personnel preparation program that addresses these specific and important needs.
Effective start/end date1/1/185/31/23


  • Department of Education: $939,331.00


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