Systematic Processes for Enhancing and Assessing Communication Supports (SPEACS)

Systematic Processes for Enhancing and Assessing Communication Supports (SPEACS) is a State Professional Development Grant (SPDG) that was awarded to the ACCESS Project at the University of Delaware.  SPEACS is a low incidence initiative designed to improve communication and educational services to students with the most significant disabilities in Delaware public schools. It is built on the premise that all students can communicate. The main objective of SPEACS is to assist school teams in progressing students from pre-symbolic and emergent communication to symbolic communication.  To accomplish this goal, SPEACS focuses on training teams to work with targeted students with complex communication needs who participate in the state’s alternate assessment. SPEACS staff provides:

  • Training to district level teams comprised of speech/language pathologists, special and general educators, other related service personnel, and the student’s family
  • Technical assistance in the form of coaching calls on a tri-weekly basis to district teams
  • Classroom observations
  • Progress monitoring
  • Lending library of assistive technology equipment

The framework for SPEACS begins with an application process comprised of:

  • School Team Application
  • Parent Application and Questionnaire
  • Learning Characteristics Inventory
  • Communication Matrix

Selected teams receive an initial two day training that will focus on:

  • Recognizing communicative competence and intent
  • Interpreting communicative behaviors
  • Developing strategies and action plans for communication
  • Exploring augmentative & alternative communication options
  • Infusing communication skills and targets into academic curriculum

Beyond the training, coaching calls provide teams with the opportunity to review data and adjust strategies for implementing action plans.

For additional information regarding SPEACS, please contact the ACCESS project office at (302) 831-1052 or email deaccessproject@udel.edu.

SPEACS Flyer 2016

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