Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


This course introduces students to acquired and lifelong disability in relation to people with complex communication needs who need or use multi-modal communication (including Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC)). The course covers in detail; intentional communication, aided and unaided multi-modal communication systems, assessment and intervention for people with complex communication needs and those who need or use multi-modal communication.

Availability2021 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2021

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Describe etiological factors involved in populations with health conditions and/or disability and associated with complex communication needs.

2. Analyse and interpret findings from assessment of a person’s complex communication needs.

3. Identify further information and referral requirements for people who use AAC.

4. Develop comprehensive and detailed plans for intervention, incorporating multi-modal communication, AAC strategies and the use of other assistive technologies for communication.

5. Report on findings and make recommendations for future management for people with complex communication needs and those who use AAC.


  • Introduction to acquired and lifelong disability and multimodal communication needs
  • Assessment & intervention approaches for people with multimodal communication needs
  • Alternative & Augmentative Communication (AAC) and Assistive Technology
  • Aided & unaided communication methods and Information Communication Technology
  • Developing language and literacy in people with multimodal communication needs and those with lifelong and acquired disability who use multimodal communication
  • Developmental Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder and other conditions associated with multimodal communication needs
  • The creation of a multimodal communication team
  • Education of the multimodal communication user and their communication partners
  • Consumer perspectives
  • Funding and governmental policies


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Speech Pathology(Hons) and associated combined degree programs.

Assumed knowledge

Students are required to have successfully completed SPTH2101, SPTH2102 and SPTH1080

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Written Assignment (40%)

Report: Report (20%)

Formal Examination: Formal examination - closed book (40%)

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 1


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 4 Weeks

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.