Course Description

Augmentative and Alternative Communication Certificate Course


This is a 10-month training program that aims to develop augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) specialists in the field of speech-language pathology in the Philippines. It focuses on developing speech and language pathologists’ knowledge and skills in AAC assessment and intervention through 5 months of theoretical coursework and 5 months of clinical mentorship. <Because of COVID-19, the learning activities usually scheduled in the first month of the course were cancelled, so the AY20-21 run of the course will only be 9 months-long>


The course is a joint continuing education endeavor of the Department of Speech Pathology of the University of the Philippines Manila (UPM) and the Technological INtervention in Giving Augmentative/Alternative Communication to individuals with communication disabilities (TINIG AAC) project and is duly recognized by the Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists (PASP). 

Course Objectives 

At the end of the course, the participants will be able to:

  • conduct an AAC assessment* 

  • write a comprehensive AAC assessment report

  • formulate an appropriate AAC intervention plan 

  • conduct evidenced-based AAC intervention procedures* 

  • value the role of utilizing current evidence in improving an AAC intervention plan

  • produce a batch project that will contribute to the enhancement of the practice of AAC intervention in the Philippines

*AY202-21: through face-to-face or telepractice service delivery methods

Course Schedule 

August (3rd or 4th week) <removed from the AY20-21 run due to COVID-19>

  • Transitioning Event 

Awarding of certificates to participants in the previous run

Orienting the current participants and clients

  • Screening in Clinic for Therapy Services

Follow-up screening of clients in the previous run

Screening of current/new clients

  • Endorsing of AAC device

Awarding of iPads to current/new clients

Training of application programming

September to December <mid-Oct. 2020 to mid-Feb. 2021 now, due to COVID>

  • Theoretical course work (16 weeks; ~3-hours worth of recorded lectures, 

      live online lecture-discussions, or online case presentations per week;

      online sessions scheduled on Saturdays, 5:30-8:30pm or 6:30-9:30pm PST)

January to May <mid-Feb 2021 to June 2021 now, due to COVID>

  • Clinical mentorship (16 to 20 once-a-week online case presentations and

      discussions, or reports on journal articles or new tools; 3-hrs per session;

      Saturdays, 5:30-8:30pm or 6:30-9:30pm PST) <for AY20-21, both in-person

      and telepractice sessions can be used for case presentations>


  • Final exam

  • Submission of the advocacy-related batch project

Course Requirements

To earn certification as an AAC Specialist, the participant should: 

  1. attend at least 80% of the live online sessions (theoretical course work and clinical mentorship). Should the participant incur 20% or more absences, s/he will automatically be dropped from the course. 

  2. garner at least 40 % for each component of the course, thereby earning a final grade of 80% or better (see grading criteria below)


Should the incurred grade be lower than 80%, the participant will be advised on the component that needs improvement. S/he will be given another opportunity to gain the expected competencies by re-taking the final exam (if s/he garnered less than 40% in the theoretical component) and/or conducting supplementary case presentation (if s/he garnered less than 40% in the mentorship component). 

TinigAAC Client Recipient <Because of the cancellation of the August events due to COVID, SLPs enrolled in the AY20-21 run must already have at least one (1) private client with AAC needs who either already has a high-tech AAC system or will be able to afford one. In exceptional cases (e.g., highly motivated yet financially challenged families), the TinigAAC project may be able to provide an iPad with an AAC app if the SLP vouches for their excellent attendance and active participation in therapy sessions in the past. This opportunity is subject to the availability of spare equipment, a socio-economic screening process, and a 1-year participation contract>

One of the clients of the SLP participant may receive an AAC device from the TINIG AAC project. To be considered as a TINIG AAC recipient, the client should meet the following criteria:

  1. be functionally non-verbal or highly unintelligible (i.e., intelligible <50% of the time) to unfamiliar listeners

  2. may have any diagnosis; may be wheelchair-bound or ambulatory

  3. come from a family who cannot typically afford to buy a high-tech communication system (e.g. iPads with communication apps) but has enough resources to sustain basic needs and sustain regular trips to therapy

  4. willing to be videotaped and photographed for clinical documentation, education, research, thanking donors, and promotion of the program for future fundraising

  5. has a good history of attendance and family involvement during therapy with the AAC specialist candidate OR at the UPM-CAMP Clinic for Therapy Services

  6. able to understand some English in functional conversation (since apps are still in the English language)


The SLP participant will be responsible for coordinating with the TINIG AAC project should one of his/her clients meet the listed criteria. The number of pediatric (3 to 17 years old) and adult (18 years old and up) beneficiaries per run of the project should be equal.

Grading criteria starting AY2021.JPG