OVAE: Office of Vocational and Adult Education
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Language and Speech Impairments in Adult Education

Research and Evaluation | Noteworthy Practices | Additional Links

Adult learners with language and speech impairments may require special assistive technology devices or accommodations to fully benefit from educational instruction. Some adults with speech articulation or language difficulties have some difficulty with phonemic awareness, oral reading, vocabulary and/or auditory comprehension as they participate in literacy improvement activities. Adult students with certain neurological, oral motor disabilities or expressive language problems may benefit from augmentative communication devices, such as language boards, to participate in class discussions and presentations.

Agencies are responsible under the Adults with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide reasonable accommodations and modifications to enable these individuals with language and speech disabilities to become effective learners and to have access to the best education services.

Research and Evaluation

  • ASEL: Augmentative Communication Research. University of Delaware research center on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, dedicated to helping people with hearing and speech disorders attain educational, vocational and personal goals.

Noteworthy Practices

  • Eleanor M. Luse Center for Communications Disorders (University of Vermont). Professional services in speech-language pathology and training for graduate students in the University's Department of Communication Services.

  • Alliance for Technology Access provides information and support services to adults with disabilities to increase their use of standard, assistive and information technologies. This interactive information service helps rapidly locate information on assistive technology.

  • Hearing Speech Deafness Center. Washington State non-profit organization offering integrated services for people with hearing loss, speech impairment and deafness.

  • Pennsylvania Telecommunication Device Distribution Program. "Provides specialized equipment free of charge to eligible people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, and/or speech impaired so they can access telephone service."

  • Vermont Facilitated Communication Network. Provides education, training, technical assistance, resources, information and guidance for the development and use of best practices in facilitated communication (helping people with limited or no speech to communicate).

Additional Links

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Last Modified: 10/23/2007