Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 201–218

Volunteering and Paid Work for Adults Who Use AAC


    • Faculty of Health SciencesThe University of Sydney
    • The University of Sydney
  • Susan Balandin
    • Avdeling for helse- og sosialfag, Høgskolen i Molde
  • Roger J. Stancliffe
    • Faculty of Health SciencesThe University of Sydney
  • Leanne Togher
    • Faculty of Health SciencesThe University of Sydney
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10882-009-9170-8

Cite this article as:
Trembath, D., Balandin, S., Stancliffe, R.J. et al. J Dev Phys Disabil (2010) 22: 201. doi:10.1007/s10882-009-9170-8


Volunteering has been identified as a route to paid work for adults with disability, including those who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). However, it is not known if adults who use AAC volunteer in an attempt to gain paid work or if such attempts are successful. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of 24 adult volunteers who use AAC in order to determine (a) their motivations for volunteering, (b) their views on the relationship between volunteering and paid work, and (c) the outcomes of their experiences. Based on in-depth interviews and grounded theory analysis, the results indicate that although some participants thought volunteering might be helpful in gaining paid work, few volunteered for this reason. Only one participant reported gaining permanent paid work as a result of volunteering, indicating that volunteering may not provide a route to employment for most adults who use AAC.


VolunteeringEmploymentDisabilityAugmentative communication

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009