The speech generating device (SGD) mentoring programme: An evaluation by participants

Liora Ballin, Susan Balandin, Roger J. Stancliffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: In this paper the perceptions of three mentors and three mentees who took part in a speech generating device (SGD) mentoring programme are presented. The aims of the study were to investigate the participants' views on taking part in the mentoring programme and their satisfaction with the outcomes. Method: Information was gathered through semi-structured interviews with the six mentoring programme participants. Interview data were analysed for content themes. Results: Thematic analysis revealed six themes. Of these themes, five were identified in both the mentor and mentee's data. These themes were: satisfaction with the SGD mentoring programme, mentee improvement in SGD use, the importance of a role model of SGD use, the SGD mentoring relationship as a helping relationship, and SGD mentoring contributes to mentor self-esteem. The remaining theme, mentors who use an SGD learn from the mentoring experience, was generated from the mentor's data only. Conclusions: The results of this study provide initial evidence in support of mentoring among people who use an SGD. A total of five of the six participants perceived that people learning an SGD can benefit from SGD mentoring by experienced users of SGDs and agreed on a need for such mentoring programmes to improve SGD use. Implications for Rehabilitation A mentoring programme involving experienced and new users of speech generating devices (SGDs) has the potential to improve learners' SGD use. The results of this study provide preliminary evidence in support of mentoring from the perspective of people who took part in an SGD mentoring programme. Five of the six participants perceived that learners can benefit and agreed on a need for such programmes to improve SGD use. Participation in mentoring can contribute to the personal growth of adult mentors and enable them to make a positive contribution to the AAC community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-203
Number of pages9
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia/Cerebral Palsy Foundation co-funded doctoral scholarship and by funds provided by Speech Pathologists, Physiotherapists, and Occupational Therapists on Developmental Disabilities (SPOT on DD) and Speech Pathology Australia. The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of these organisations. The authors report no conflicts of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the paper.


  • Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)
  • Mentoring
  • Mentors
  • Programme evaluation
  • Speech generating device (SGD)
  • Speech-language pathology (SLP)


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