School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Laura Mansfield


augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), self-efficacy, teachers, complex communication needs (CCN), TASTA, bivariate regression


Education | Special Education and Teaching


Students identified with disabilities and complex communication needs (CCN) add a unique aspect to teaching practice and pedagogy. Both special education and general education teachers play a vital role in providing opportunities for students to learn and succeed. Using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices is one way for students with CCN to access the general curriculum as well as become active participants in the classroom. Research has indicated that teachers’ attitudes and self-efficacy using AAC may affect how well the devices are used in the classroom. Though teachers are expected to provide the necessary supports required by students with CCN, recent research shows they continue to have difficulty doing so. Given their role as primary communication partners for students with CCN, teachers’ confidence in their ability to provide services must be examined on a wider scale. The purpose of this quantitative, predictive, correlational study will be to determine if teachers’ self-efficacy can predict their intentions to use AAC in their classrooms and their perceptions of their students’ ability to communicate effectively as measured by subscales of the Teacher Attitudinal Scale toward AAC instrument (TASTA).