Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
The purpose of Project Building Bridges is to prepare fully credentialed Speech Language Pathologists to work effectively with culturally and linguistically diverse children with significant disabilities and augmentative communication needs, ages birth to 21. Project scholars will complete a Master’s degree in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences in a two-year time frame, with a concentration in AAC and a focus on cultural and linguistic diversity. Scholar competencies to be acquired include: (a) culturally responsive AAC assessment; (b) culturally responsive AAC intervention; (c) collaborative teaming; and (d) development of AAC applications to support the language and literacy skills of culturally and linguistically diverse children and youth.
The ECSE (Early Childhood Special Education) program and SLHS (Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences) program at San Francisco State University have been awarded a 5-year grant (2019-2023), the Project GROW Grant (Guiding Responsive Communication Within Inclusive Early Childhood Settings) from the Department of Education. The co-directors of the project are Drs. Amber Friesen and Teresa Gray. This grant will fund a stipend program for scholars accepted into the ECSE Credential or Credential/masters program, or SLHS Master's Program.
There is a critical need for more highly-qualified professionals of diverse sociocultural backgrounds to support the learning and development of ALL young children within inclusive settings. The Project GROW Grant was awarded to help prepare more credentialed ECSE and SLHS scholars to fill this need.