The views of people who use speech generating devices on mentoring new learners

Liora Ballin, Susan Balandin, Roger J. Stancliffe, Leanne Togher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose. This study explored the perspectives of adults who use a speech generating device (SGD) on the development of a mentoring programme to improve device use. Adults who are competent SGD communicators would mentor new learners. The aims were to investigate the participants' views on peer mentoring to improve SGD use, the critical components of an SGD mentoring programme and the issues that might facilitate the likelihood of a programme's success. Method. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 adults who use an SGD. These interviews were analysed for content themes. Results. Thematic analysis revealed that participants perceived that new SGD learners would benefit from mentoring by experienced SGD communicators. Participants considered benefits for new learners would include the opportunity to see successful use of an SGD and the opportunity to receive support and guidance from someone who has a shared experience of learning to use an SGD. Participants considered benefits for mentors to include the satisfaction gained from helping new learners. Participants suggested guidelines for establishing a programme and areas in which SGD mentors would require training. Conclusions. Participants indicated a need for a mentoring programme to improve SGD use. Such a programme might help address challenges that those new to learning an SGD encounter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-74
Number of pages12
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Declaration of interest: This research is supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NH&MRC)/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 Semantic CompactionTM Systems, Inc.


  • Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)
  • learning
  • mentor
  • mentoring
  • speech generating device (SGD)
  • voice output communication aid (VOCA)


Dive into the research topics of 'The views of people who use speech generating devices on mentoring new learners'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this