Course Title: Communicate using augmentative and alternative communication strategies

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: VE 2018

Class Number: 2950

Class Section: DISH

For flexible terms and optional semesters, a Part B course guide may have been published for the entire teaching period, or for the specific class number in which you are enrolled. If there is no Part B course guide published for your specific class number, please refer to the guide for the teaching period in which you are enrolled. Enrolment Online is the definitive source for details regarding your class enrolment.

Course Code: HWSS6118C

Course Title: Communicate using augmentative and alternative communication strategies

School: 365T Global, Urban and Social Studies

Campus: City Campus

Program: C4365 - Certificate IV in Disability

Course Contact: Renee Costa

Course Contact Phone: 9925 0886

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Nominal Hours: 60

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit describes the knowledge and skills you will need in your role as a disability support worker.  Augmentative and Alternative Communication strategies replace or supplement speech for those people you support whose oral speech skills limit their communication and participation in day to day life. 

This unit is taught with:

CHCCCS025 Support relationships with carers and families

CHCDIS009  Facilitate skills development using a person centred approach

CHCDIS002  Follow established person-centred behaviour supports

This unit is assessed with:

CHCDIS009  Facilitate skills development using a person centred approach

CHCDIS002  Follow established person-centred behaviour supports 

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CHCDIS004 Communicate using augmentative and alternative communication strategies


1. Identify the current communication capacity and needs of the person

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Work in collaboration with the person, family and/or carer and/or relevant other, to identify communication needs

1.2 Use appropriate supports to aid the person’s current communication capacity

1.3 Document the outcomes of this process in line with organisation procedures

1.4 Consult with additional people including family and/or carers and/or relevant others as required

1.5 Make appropriate referrals to professionals and other service providers as required in consultation with supervisor


2. Develop effective AAC strategies

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Provide information to relevant professional/s about the person with disability in relation to their likes/dislikes, daily activities and current communication needs

2.2 Develop communication strategies to meet individual needs and level of communication, considering the person’s history and preferences and in consultation with relevant senior staff/professionals

2.3 Adjust available tools and programs to address individual needs and preferences

2.4 Seek advice from other staff and relevant others as required and work within scope of practice


3. Implement AAC strategy

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Use different strategies and devices in AAC

3.2 Document communication support strategies in the person’s individualised plan

3.3 Organise the environment to optimise communication opportunities

3.4 Reinforce communication by timely and appropriate response

3.5 Identify difficulties experienced by the person when communicating and respond to difficulties within own work role and responsibilities

3.6 Refer difficulties outside own role and responsibilities to appropriate person

3.7 Provide practice opportunities and information to the person to maintain consistency in their use of communication strategies and encourage contact with other users or support persons


4. Monitor, report and review communication strategies

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Set up and maintain reporting and recording system to assist with monitoring and review

4.2 Review reporting and recordings to monitor success of communication strategies and make changes as required in consultation with senior staff/professionals

4.3 Identify barriers to the effective use of AAC strategies and devices

4.4 Work with other relevant people to overcome the barriers

4.5 Implement any modifications to communication strategies and devices

4.6 Identify opportunities to increase communication vocabulary

4.7 Maintain accurate written records according to established directions and within organisation protocols

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course you will have developed and applied the skills and knowledge required to demonstrate competency in the above elements.  Your capacity to support people with complex communication needs will be further developed through your study.

Details of Learning Activities

  • class exercises to review discussions and workshops
  • seminars/workshops/presentations
  • guest presentations
  • group discussions
  • research in and out of class time
  • independent workplace case study

Teaching Schedule

1.The people you support, their families and carers.

  • Family and carer demographics
  • Transitions and service needs
  • Person-centred and family centred practices – planning supports together
  • Effective communication with the person you support, family/carers


2. Communication, skills development and positive behaviour support – building a full and interesting life

  • Complex communication needs (CCN) and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
  • Person centred planning – assessment, increasing skills, strategies
  • CHCDIS004, CHCDIS009 & CHCDIS002 Assessment task 2: individual in-class – Case study Part 3, the client communication, skills and behavioural profile. 

3. Communication, skills development and positive behaviour support

  • Staff communication skills and practices
  • Effective communication with, and between the people we support
  • Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) strategies – what is the context of the behaviour of concern?
  • Linking effective communication, increased skills and inclusive behaviour

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Additional resources available both in class and online.  

Overview of Assessment

Assessment 1: Understanding theory - Short answers

Assessment 2: Case study part 3:

  • Workshop - client communication, skills and behaviour profile
  • Take Home - Current skills development and behaviour support

Assessment 3: Professional Discussion, Workplace Evidence, Third Party Report.

Assessment Tasks

This course is assessed in accordance with competency based assessment. The unit

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete all of the following pieces of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive written feedback on all assessment (refer to MyRMIT for assessment criteria). You will receive a full assessment brief on the Blackboard site accessed via MyRMIT.

Assessment Task 1: Work responsibilities and practice – short answer questions

Using your experience in supporting people with complex communication needs to develop their life skills and capacity to manage themselves, and the information, discussions and materials from the workshops, you will respond to written questions about how you support your clients.  

Assessment Task 2: Case Study Part 3 – based on a person whom you support

In Part 3 of the case study you will discuss how your service supports clients to develop and maintain communication and skills for daily life, and provides positive and person centred behaviour support.

Assessment Task 3: Professional Discussion and performance evidence, Third Party Report 

This describes skills and knowledge you can demonstrate via your job role your skills and knowledge as a disability worker communicating with clients' using augmentative and alternative communication strategies, facilitating clients' skills development using a person centred approach and following established person-centred behaviour supports with clients.  This will be provided via a professional discussion and presentation of workplace evidence during planned workplace visits, and a Third Party Report from your team leader of manager.

Due date: to be scheduled with students

When you have completed all unit tasks to “Satisfactorily completed” standard, you will be signed off as “Competency Achieved” in this unit.


Assessment Matrix

An assessment matrix for this unit will be available from the Program staff and on canvas

Other Information

Work Integrated Learning

This is a Work Integrated Learning course


It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain the competency.

Applying for Special Consideration

If you are seeking an extension of more than seven calendar days (from the original due date) you must lodge an Application for Special Consideration form, preferably prior to, but no later than two working days after the official due date. Late applications will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances. For information about Special Consideration and how to apply, see:

Assessment Appeals

If you believe your assessment result or final result is wrong please contact the course coordinator and provide the reason why you think your result is incorrect. Valid reasons for seeking a review of results include:

  1. a) You believe an error has occurred in the calculation of the grade; or,
  2. b) You believe the assessment did not comply with criteria published in the Course Guide; or,
  3. c) You believe the assessment did not comply with University Policies on Assessment (i.e. an error in process has occurred).

Full details of the procedure (including appeals procedure) can be located at this RMIT site:

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity means honesty and responsibility in scholarship through respecting the work of others whilst having the freedom to build new insights, new knowledge and ideas. RMIT University upholds the values of academic integrity as fundamental to the scholarship undertaken by all members of its community. Whenever you refer to another person’s research or ideas (either by directly quoting or paraphrasing them) you must acknowledge your source.

If you are even in doubt about how to properly cite a reference, consult your lecturer or the academic integrity website:

The RMIT library provides tools to assist with your referencing

Plagiarism and Collusion

Plagiarism and collusion constitute extremely serious academic misconduct, and are forms of cheating. You are reminded that cheating, whether by fabrication, falsification of data, or plagiarism, is an offence subject to University disciplinary procedures. Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is your own. It is a form of cheating and is a very serious academic offence that may lead to expulsion from the University. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited. Plagiarism is not acceptable.

Examples of plagiarism include:

  • Copying sentences or paragraphs word-for-word from one or more sources, whether published or unpublished, which could include but is not limited to books, journals, reports, theses, websites, conference papers, course notes, etc. without proper citation;
  • Closely paraphrasing sentences, paragraphs, ideas or themes without proper citation;
  • Piecing together text from one or more sources and adding only linking sentences;
  • Copying or submitting whole or parts of computer files without acknowledging their source;
  • Copying designs or works of art and submitting them as your original work;
  • Copying a whole or any part of another student's work; and
  • Submitting work as your own that someone else has done for you.
  • Enabling Plagiarism: the act of assisting or allowing another person to plagiarise or to copy your own work is also an offence.

For further information, please see the RMIT Plagiarism Policy –;ID=sg4yfqzod48g1 (unresolved) – and the RMIT Student Conduct Regulations;ID=r7a7an6qug93

Plagiarism Software

The originality verification software Turnitin may be used in this course. For details, see:

Complaints Procedure:

RMIT University is committed to providing a harmonious study and work environment for all students and staff. The University recognises your right to raise concerns about academic, administrative or support services without recrimination and has policies and procedures to assist in the resolution of complaints.

Most issues are resolved at the local level and you are encouraged to take steps to resolve your issue locally. The student complaint procedure details steps to take if your problem is not resolved or you believe the response you received is unreasonable.

Student Complaints Policy:

Student complaints Procedure:;ID=i1lexipvjt22

Student Complaints Form:



Course Overview: Access Course Overview