Evidence-Based Practice: Speech Generating Devices / VOCA

Overview of Speech Generating Devices (SGD) / VOCA

Speech generating devices (SGD) are electronic devices that are portable in nature and can produce either synthetic or digital speech for the user. SGD may be used with graphic symbols, as well as with alphabet keys.

SGD meets the evidence-based practice criteria with a total of five single-subject studies.
With what ages is SGD effective?
SGD can be used effectively with children and youth with ASD who have limited or no verbal speech from early childhood through high school. The evidence base indicates that SGD are effective with learners ranging from 3 to 20 years of age.
What skills or intervention goals can be addressed by SGD?
SGD target skills that help children and youth with ASD effectively communicate with others in a variety of situations and settings. The evidence base suggests that within the communication domain, a variety of skills can be targeted for intervention, including initiation, expressive language (verbal), joint attention/gestures (non-verbal), and pragmatics (conversation skills). The research also demonstrates that reading and math skills can be addressed using SGD.
In what settings can SGD be effectively used?
The evidence-based research studies were conducted in clinical or school settings. Although there is little evidence for this practice being implemented at home, application of SGD in this setting seems logical.
Brief Package:
 [PDF, 354387KB ] 10/01/2010

Brief Components

 [PDF, 85226KB] 10/01/2010
Evidence base:
 [PDF, 14923KB] 10/01/2010
Steps for Implementation:
 [PDF, 101881KB] 10/01/2010
Implementation Checklist:
 [PDF, 155099KB] 10/01/2010