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PECS and VOCAs to enable students with developmental disabilities to make requests: An overview of the literature

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Lancioni, GE and O'Reilly, M and Cuvo, AJ and Singh, NN and Sigafoos, J and Didden, R (2007) PECS and VOCAs to enable students with developmental disabilities to make requests: An overview of the literature. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 28 (5). pp. 468-488. ISSN 0891-4222

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Abstract

This paper provides an overview of the literature dealing with the use of the Picture Exchange
Communication System (PECS) and voice output communication aids (VOCAs) for promoting the
performance of requests by students with developmental disabilities. Computerized and manual searches
were carried out to identify the studies published during the last 15 years (i.e., the period between 1992 and
2006 during which PECS and VOCA approaches became popular). Thirty-seven studies were identified and
then divided into three groups concerning the use of the PECS or equivalents, the use of VOCAs or
equivalents, and the comparison of both these approaches, respectively. Of the 173 students involved in
studies using the PECS or equivalents only three could be considered failures, while a fourth one did not
progress in the program due to illness. Similarly, of the 39 students who used VOCAs or equivalents only
three could be considered failures, while one was partly successful. Finally, of the 11 students involved in the
comparisons between PECS and VOCAs none could be classified as a failure. The results are very
encouraging but methodological concerns and the relatively limited use of the systems in terms of request
items and request opportunities suggest caution. Caution may also be needed in interpreting the reported
similarities between the two systems in usability and effectiveness.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: PECS; VOCA; Developmental disabilities; Request making
Journal or Publication Title: Research in Developmental Disabilities
Publisher: Pergamon
Page Range: pp. 468-488
ISSN: 0891-4222
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2006.06.003
Additional Information:

The definitive version is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com

Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2008 14:16
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:34
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