Malkara has made a strong commitment to ensure all students at the school with
Complex Communication Needs have an appropriate Augmentative and Alternative
Communication System, that the systems are used daily and that all staff have
appropriate training in using the systems and in becoming good communication
partners. As a result, students at Malkara are daily becoming more competent
In 2012 the school executive established a trial Proloquo 2 Go Classroom to look at
implementing good quality AA C intervention and support for a trial group of students,
focusing on students who had a recommendation from a speech pathologist to use Proloquo
In 2013 the school implemented aided language displays throughout the school. All staff
were required to wear and use aided language displays. This was highly successful, with
many students learning to use symbols for a range of communicative functions and with
positive outcomes in terms of student’s receptive and expressive language and in creating a
community of more skilled communication partners. In addition, a number of students had
their own AAC systems. PODD books, followed by I Pads with Proloquo 2 Go, were the
most common systems, but low tech core vocabulary systems, PECS and other AA C apps
on iPads had also been recommended for some students. Staff received training and
practice on using and supporting these systems although the primary focus for the whole
school was on aided language displays and aided language stimulation.
In 2014, the whole school focus was on increasing aided language input. Teachers were
asked to use aided language for at least 50% of the school day and the range of aided
language displays was increased. Further work was done on helping staff to become
competent with their students’ AA C systems so that aided language could happen using the
systems appropriate for each student. A PODD working party was established to build
resources for whole school training around implementing PODD.
Overall, the school has made a significant and sustained commitment to creating a
community that supports and uses AAC daily. The whole school community has recognised
the importance of ensuring all their students with complex communication have a “voice” and
have worked hard to ensure that this has happened in an appropriate and sustainable way.
As a result, all staff have become much more effective communication partners and the
students attending the school are becoming much more competent communicators.
And we wish all schools could be like Malkara.