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When Helping Isn’t Helping: The Importance of Prompt Awareness in AAC Instruction

 Registration is closed for this event



Presenter: Rachael Langley, M.A., CCC-SLP

Date: Monday, September 17, 2018

Sign In: 5:30pm

Conference: 5:45pm-9:00pm

LISHA Member: $60.00 (You must Sign-In to receive member pricing)

LISHA Student Member: $25.00

New LISHA Member: $110.00 (*includes 2018 LISHA dues)

New LISHA Student Member: $50.00 (*includes 2018 LISHA dues)

Non-Member Professional: $85.00

This program is offered for .3 CEU's Intermediate Level: Professional Area



Rachael Langley, M.A., CCC-SLP  will be receiving an honorarium for her presentation from LISHA. Rachael is the owner of Reach Language, LLC.


Rachael Langley, M.A., CCC-SLP has no non-financial relationships to report.


Campo Salisbury Center, 718 The Plain Road, Westbury, NY 11590

Workshop Coordinator

Barbara Zwerman, M.A., CCC-SLP
Director of Speech Language Pathology


When teaching learners with complex communication needs, there is often an unspoken drive to prompt, prompt, prompt students to communicate. Let's stop and talk about how we use prompting and how we use focused and intentional AAC instruction. Prompting is not an inherently bad thing. But oftentimes we see that educators and paraeducators with the best intentions of helping are creating an over-dependence upon prompts. Join this discussion on prompt hierarchies, least-to-most prompting, and the role of modeling in learning new skills. What does research and best practice say about the use of prompts in AAC instruction? New research points to the use of least-to-most prompting for specific learners. It is the role of the team - including the speech-language pathologist, teacher, parents, and others - to be aware of the type of prompts that are being used, as well as the frequency with which they are used. Has your team established shared and agreed upon definitions for what is meant by "minimal prompting" or "verbal prompts"? These terms may mean different things to different people. Disparate views of prompting methods may lead to inconsistencies in instruction. These and other challenges that occur frequently during AAC instruction will be discussed, along with common-sense solutions grounded in research-based principles. With a focus on communication autonomy, this session considers the need for awareness regarding how much prompting is occurring and why. Discussion will include the purpose and use of full physical prompts to access communication, including how and why physical prompts are used. Attendees will be challenged to ask if there is a less-intrusive way to offer language access to learners. Finally, this session will include a summary of research on the use of "modeling" as a tool for teaching the use of aided language. Resources and strategies for coaching the learner's team into using the least-restrictive approach will be shared. The focus of this presentation is primarily how prompting relates to teaching language through augmentative/alternative communication (AAC). 


Rachael Langley is a speech-language pathologist working as an Augmentative/Alternative Communication (AAC) specialist in Mid-Michigan. Her 16-year career has focused primarily on supporting students with complex communication needs. A two-time graduate of Michigan State University, Rachael has served as a clinical faculty member and guest lecturer at several local universities. She is one of the founders and organizers of the #TalkingAAC Conference, the only conference of its kind in Michigan. Rachael is the owner of Reach Language, LLC and has presented at local, state, and national conferences. In addition to clinical and consultative work, Rachael enjoys creating and sharing materials that focus on practical strategies for educators and families.

**LISHA speaker selection does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products or procedures. We reserve the right to substitute speakers due to circumstances beyond our control**

Learning Objectives

Participants will:  
1. Describe at least five different forms of prompting. 

2. Identify two different interpretations of the term “modeling” when considering AAC instruction and support.

3. List at least two potential risks associated with prompt dependence. 

4. Discuss the definition for the concept “communication autonomy.”


5:30-5:45 Registration/Light Refreshments
5:45-6:15 Introduction and Prompting Defined
6:15-6:45 Prompt Hierarchies: What, When, and Why
6:45-7:00 Break
7:00-7:30 Instructional Strategies for AAC: Our Definition of Modeling
7:30-8:15 Common Problems in AAC Implementation and Solutions
8:15-8:45 The Risks of Prompt Dependence
8:45-9:00 Questions and Answers


Confirmation of registration can be obtained at or E-mail at

Cancellations and CEUs

Cancellations are refundable if received 72 business hours prior to the event.  Please note: Registrants will receive a certificate of completion when the course has been successfully completed.  If you wish to earn ASHA CEUs you must complete ASHA CEU forms and hand them in at the completion of the workshop. 


PowerPoint/Handout Presentations will be emailed to confirmed attendees, 72 hours prior to the workshop. There will be no internet access at the venue to download handouts. You will need to either print a copy or download the file to a computer, tablet or phone before the workshop. Paper Handouts will NOT be available at the workshop.



September 17th, 2018 5:30 PM   through   9:00 PM
718 The Plain Road
Campo Salisbury Center
Westbury, NY 11590
United States
Phone: 516-626-8000
Event Fee(s)
Individual Fee $ 85.00

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