In the world of augmentative/alternative communication (AAC), the “presumption of competence” is seen as a core guiding principle for supporting a person who uses AAC. Putting this principle into practice on an everyday basis often requires communication partners to change their beliefs and assumptions about disability and intelligence, and to develop a more expanded view of communication as a gateway to community inclusion and participation. The presenters will provide ideas on how to what communication partners can learn to think “outside of the box” of their existing beliefs about communication and move to a place where they are demonstrating the presumption of competence in their daily interactions with AAC users. A self-advocate will share examples from his personal experiences as an AAC user of how different beliefs about his competence have impacted his ability to communicate and steps that he and members of his support team have taken to change these beliefs.
OBJECTIVES FOR THE TRAINING:
Participants will be able to:
• Describe the principle of “presumption of competence”.
• Identify actions that communication partners need to take to demonstrate that they presume the competence of the people that they are supporting.
• Identify actions and steps that organizations need to take to establish a culture of “presuming competence”.