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OHOA Module: Emergent Communication

OHOA Module: Emergent Communication

Young Laci looking at herself in the mirror.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the role of the intervener as a competent communication partner for students who are deaf-blind and be able to identify strategies that encourage communication.
  • Discover that students with deaf-blindness always express themselves in meaningful, concrete, purposeful ways from their deaf-blind perspective and that this is the starting point for communication development.
  • Develop knowledge about "movements," "sounds," and "touching objects," and recognize them as meaningful, concrete, purposeful behaviors.
  • Know how to establish "shared experiences" with a student.
  • Gain insight into how experiences leave bodily-emotional traces in the memory and how students express these memory traces in their behavior.
  • Understand strategies that can be used to co-create shared meaning of a student’s expressions and develop gestures, meaningful sounds, and objects of reference (object cues).
  • Understand strategies that can be used to develop gestures, meaningful sounds, and objects of reference (object cues) based on the intervener's forms of communication.
  • Understand the steps that need to be taken to expand concrete communication forms before moving on to abstract communication forms.

Development Team

  • Bernadette Van Den Tillaart (Lead)
  • Lauri Triulzi
  • Tina Hertzog
  • Chris Montgomery
  • Caroline K. Daley

Suggested Citation

Van den Tillaart, B., Triulzi, L., Hertzog, T., Montgomery, C., Daley C. (2014, September, rev.). Emergent communication. In National Center on Deaf-Blindness, Open Hands, Open Access: Deaf-Blind Intervener Learning Modules. Monmouth, OR: National Center on Deaf-Blindness, The Research Institute at Western Oregon University.