What is the evidence base behind the development of the ROCC?

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Much of the learning and understanding around communicative competence and the multiple factors involved is influenced by the work of the following visionaries, researchers and developers within the context of augmentative and alternative communication:

  • Gayle Porter, Linda Burkhart and the work of the Cerebral Palsy Education Centre (CPEC) in relation to PODD communication books, autonomous communication and alternative access.
  • Sarah Blackstone and Mary Hunt-Berg’s work within the Social Networks Assessment that has helped to define the 3 levels of communicative competence, i.e. Emergent, Transitional and Independent/Competent. (Blackstone & Hunt Berg, 2003)
  • David Beukelman and Pat Mirenda’s Participation Model for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (1988)
  • Janice Light’s Framework of Communicative Competence for individuals using AAC (Light, 1989).

The tool has also been heavily influenced by the use and feedback provided by schools and sites participating in the pilot phase of ROCC development (pilot sites). During this phase, descriptors were created and modified to ensure inclusion of all individuals and all modes of communication within these settings.  A list of all pilot sites is available at roccassessment.com.au.

Some other key references that assisted us in the development of the ROCC are: 

  • Light, J. (1989). Toward a definition of communicative competence for individuals using augmentative and alternative communication systems. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 5(2), 137 – 144.
  • Light, J., & McNaughton, D. (2014). Communicative competence for individuals who require augmentative and alternative communication: A new definition for a new era of communication? Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 30(1), 1 – 18.
  • Porter, G., & Burkhart, L. (2012). The roads to autonomous communication using aided language. Paper presented to 15th Biennial Conference of ISAAC. Pittsburg, 28 July – 4 August.
  • Teachman, G., & Gibson, B. E. (2013). ‘Communicative competence’ in the field of augmentative and alternative communication: a review and critique. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 49(1), 1 – 14.




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