Just-in-Time Supports in Augmentative and Alternative Communication

  • Ralf W. SchlosserEmail author
  • Howard C. Shane
  • Anna A. Allen
  • Jennifer Abramson
  • Emily Laubscher
  • Katherine Dimery


Individuals with developmental disabilities such as autism, physical disabilities, and intellectual disabilities frequently are candidates for augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems as well as visual supports. The purpose of this paper is to apply the business construct of just-in-time (JIT) to the field of AAC with particular reference to new possibilities for JIT support arising from the advent of the mobile technology revolution. In addition to a review of the history of JIT within AAC, a taxonomy of JIT supports is proposed. Potential benefits of JIT supports are postulated based on conceptual underpinnings related to working memory demands, situated cognition, and teachable moments. Implications of JIT supports are drawn for both the learner and the communication partners’ competencies. Finally, several directions for future research are posited.


Augmentative and alternative communication Autism Developmental disabilities Just-in-time Intervention Mobile technologies Visual supports 



Conflict of Interest

The authors report no conflicts of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralf W. Schlosser
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
    Email author
  • Howard C. Shane
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Anna A. Allen
    • 3
  • Jennifer Abramson
    • 2
  • Emily Laubscher
    • 4
  • Katherine Dimery
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Department of Applied PsychologyNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Otolaryngology and Communication EnhancementBoston Children’s HospitalWalthamUSA
  3. 3.School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, MGH Institute of Health ProfessionsBostonUSA
  4. 4.Language and Learning Centers of AmericaWellesleyUSA

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