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Preparing for the BC-AAC

Interested in preparing for BC-AAC? 

After reading the information below, This Year-by-Year Guide of suggestions may be helpful in working towards becoming a successful candidate!

 

1. ASHA Certification.
 

All applicants must currently hold the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC/SLP).

 

2. Continuing Education.
 

AAC related CEU activity may be at any instructional level of content (introductory, intermediate, advanced) for applicants applying in 2024 given the limited number of educational activities at the intermediate and advanced levels.  However, starting in 2026, all applicants must demonstrate CE activity only at the intermediate and advanced levels to meet requirements. In 2026, the following becomes the standard.  Please list all training related to AAC at the intermediate or advanced level completed in the last 3-year cycle. All applicants must document receipt of at least 7.5 Intermediate to Advanced CEUs that relate to AAC within the last 3 years prior to application. A minimum of 45 of the Professional development hours (4.5 CEU) need to be ASHA-sponsored  courses (you may include RESNA and IACET CEUs) and up to 30 of the professional development hours (3.0 CEU) may be non-ASHA sponsored continuing education events (these Professional development hours PDH need to meet the standards set for ASHA for continuing education) that relate to Augmentative Alternative Communication. 

Individuals attending/participating in Intermediate to Advanced workshops which do not give ASHA, IACET, or RESNA CEUs may apply for independent study through ASHA or an ASHA approved CE provider who agrees to sponsor an independent study to receive ASHA CEUs. Please provide evidence of attendance at other educational activities in closely related fields. Detailed descriptions of all non-ASHA sponsored CEU activities are required.

Continuing education activities may include Advanced workshops, meetings or courses in Augmentative and Alternative Communication, video and audio courses, telemedicine, and other electronic media, independent study (e.g., course development, research projects, publications, internships), self-study (e.g., videotapes, audiotapes, journals) and evidence of attendance in closely related fields.

Continuing education courses must be directly related to Augmentative and Alternative Communication. If the title of the course is unclear (as it relates to AAC), an applicant should submit a program or brochure to provide substantiation for its inclusion.

When applying CEUs from the ASHA National Convention or other multi-offering events, applicants must list specific course/workshop titles and corresponding CEUs in the application table. CEUs will be applied for only those courses/workshops relative to AAC.

When applying CEUs from other events offering an IACET or RESNA CEU’s for one or multiple sessions, applicants must list specific courses/workshop titles and corresponding CEUs in the application table.  CEUs will be applied for only those courses/workshops with AAC content.
 

  *Note: Applicants must list at least 3 different continuing education providers, 50% of the continuing education hours listed have to report no financial relationship with a product that is being presented.

*Note: Of the documented 75 professional development hours (7.5 CEUs) these hours can be completed virtually, live, or in-person.

University/College Courses.

 

If an applicant has completed a graduate level university/college level course in AAC, accrued credits can be applied to continuing education requirements. Graduate university/college coursework must be accompanied by a syllabus or transcript. One college/university credit is equivalent to 1 CEU (as it relates to application for BC-AAC). The applicant must submit a transcript or other document verifying completion of those credits.

Instructor or Invited Lecturer.

 

If an applicant teaches a graduate level AAC course at an approved university/college or provides intermediate and/or advanced level AAC-related lectures at a conference which provides ASHA, IACET, RESNA CEUs, a maximum of 3.5 CEUs may be applied to the 7.5 CEU requirement for BC-AAC. One college credit is equivalent to 1 CEU. Each course may only be applied one time within an application (even though the same course/conference may be taught several times during an academic year or in consecutive years). The applicant must submit appropriate evidence and documentation of the lectures that were related to AAC. Please note: if you use a course you taught for CEU credits, you will not be able to list this activity under Related Professional Activities. (You can use this activity for either CEU’s or Related Professional Activities, not both.)

Having trouble keeping your CEUs organized? Please feel free to use our CEU Log Sheet Remember to update it after every CEU event you attend to keep it current!

Accepted CEU Activities
Activities are accepted as CEU’s if:

(1) they contribute to the applicant’s professional development in AAC and (2) will lead to acquiring and enhancing skills and knowledge required for advanced AAC practice. Some examples:

  • AAC courses that are not ASHA, IACET, RESNA approved, but still focus exclusively on the topic of Augmentative and Alternative Communication, (e.g. workshop seminars with AAC as the topic, and AAC seminars offered through other professional associations like those offered for continuing medical education (CME) units, and formal online, non-credit AAC courses.)

 

It is the responsibility of the applicant or renewal applicant to keep a log of all CEU events attended AND to have syllabi available from these events in case the content is questioned by the application committee. For instance, if a conference or CEU event is on BOTH AAC and Apraxia, NOT all the hours offered will be accepted as the topics need primarily focus on AAC itself.

 

3. Post-Certification Clinical Experience.
 

All applicants must have completed a minimum of 3 years post certification (CCC/SLP) clinical work that has a focus in AAC.  AB-AAC has established two tracks to meet the diversity of clinical service environments for professionals at all levels of advancement within the profession: Clinical Track and Academic/Administrative Track. 

The Clinical Track looks to identify professionals who demonstrate strong advanced clinical skills through direct provision of services to patients/clients.

The Academic/Administrative Track which will begin in 2025-26 looks to identify faculty who maintain clinical skills through ongoing patient/client contact, clinical supervision of students, and clinic administration while promoting improved patient care within this specialized area of practice.

Applicants whose primary hours in working with persons with AAC are completed in a private practice setting must show proof of billing for AAC services using the appropriate billing codes. 

a. Clinical Track: 

The following information should be entered into the downloadable hours log form:

300 hours in the 12 months prior to submission of the application

Please list hours under each category (Total number of hours listed must equal 300)

[insert hours] Assessment hours (i.e. evaluation, system trials, interdisciplinary access   assessment)

[insert hours]Treatment/therapy/implementation hours

[insert hours] Training hours(Parent training, staff training, coaching, general AAC training)

[insert hours] Noncontact AAC activity hours (i.e. device programming and customization, funding)

[insert hours] Clinical Supervision/Instruction hours

[total number of hours]

 

When providing the hour log, if you have yet to document hours (in the past year) in one or more of the areas listed above could you describe any previous experience in these area(s) within the past five years? Please include this explanation in the hours log form.

 

When the log form is complete and you have entered the necessary information, you will be asked to verify the information is correct via the following statement:

 

[Initial here] I, [insert name], verify that the information regarding hours of practice in the field of AAC is accurate to the best of my knowledge.

 

b. Academic/Administrative Track:

A minimum of 100 clock hours of clinical evaluation and/or treatment of persons needing augmentative and alternative communication completed within a year for each of 3 years prior to applying for BC-AAC. These hours must all be direct patient contact hours. In addition, the applicant in this pathway must have 300 hours in the 3 years before applying. Applicants may demonstrate client/patient contact that includes clinical supervision.

4. Advanced Skill Documentation

There are distinctly different requirements for each track:

All applicants for BC-AAC must have evidence of ADVANCED CLINICAL OR LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE by having a sufficient number of activities, accomplishments, and/or publications beyond those expected in the regular execution of their job. Therefore, it is critical and expected that the applicant be involved in professional activities related to AAC outside of their institution.  Applicants must include examples of local, regional, state or national activities.  These outside activities can be in any or all of the categories of education/mentorship, leadership, scholarship/research.

A. Applicants in the Clinical Track must evidence advanced skills either by satisfying a minimum of four related professional activities within one category or at least two activities in two different category types (i.e., education/mentorship, leadership, scholarship/research). These activities could include providing Inservice to school staff, parent training, directing or participating in AAC camps, participation in regional AAC group, AAC related committee memberships, organizing an adult AAC support group. If the applicant chooses to provide documentation of advanced experience in just one of the 3 related professional areas, there must be evidence of sufficient depth in that category. Although it is not expected that an applicant for the Clinical track will have advanced activities in the research category, if this is relevant, they should be included.

        (See examples in Appendix C)

B. Applicants in the Academic/Administrative Track must evidence advanced skills in at least two different category types. The required categories must be clinical education/mentorship and/or Leadership. Evidence of advanced skill includes satisfying a minimum of four related professional activities in AAC education/mentorship or leadership. If the applicant is in an academic institution, activities in the AAC scholarship/research category may be included. All related professional activities should be listed when they occur in the other categories.

 

5. Artifacts

 

Note: All artifacts should comply with HIPAA/FERPA guidelines and should be redacted as necessary. No identifying information should be visible in uploaded documents.

 

Applicants will submit an artifact for each of the following areas:

  1. AAC Training presentation

  2. Evaluation report (school-based example and/or medical example)

  3. Plan of Care/Present level of Performance including goals

 

               A.  Training artifact

 

Title or topic of the presentation, identify the target audience, list the learning outcomes, amount of time for the presentation (list PDH/CEU hours), description of hands-on or interactive activities, training format (live, recorded, zoom, in-person), list the learning level (beginner, intermediate, advanced)

Training Artifacts should:

  • Demonstrate a clear target audience

  • Show clarity of information at the audience's level

  • Provide information that shows an understanding of AAC content for the targeted topic

 

             B.  AAC evaluation artifact

Evaluation reports should demonstrate the following:

  • Trial data (include information regarding the setting, the communication tasks assessed, communication partners, and language systems)

  • Devices considered and rejected

  • Evidence of feature matching in the evaluation and trial process

  • Daily communication needs (partners, environments, limitations of current communication methods)

  • Interdisciplinary reporting (access, OT input, PT input, Visual specialist input, classroom teacher, nurse/medical liaison, audiologist, etc)

  • Coding for diagnosis, treatment, and SGD information (ensure coding for device class)

  • Treatment plan (training, goals, and implementation strategies for AAC team members)

  • Device recommendation with rationale and specificity of device and accessories (SGD, keyguards, mounting systems)

  • Family/caregiver/device user input/concerns

  • Comprehensive medical/social history

  • Results of speech/language evaluation and or current communication status for speech, receptive, expressive language (include prognosis for use and development of oral speech)

  • Demonstrates the use of standardized, formal and/or informal testing measures and clinical analysis of those tools as it relates to determining system recommendations

  • SLP assurance statement

  • Physician involvement statement

 

             C. Plan of Care/Individualized Education Plan

 

Applicants must submit an artifact either redacted or a self-generated case study that is representative of either a plan of care or a present level of functional performance for a client receiving AAC intervention.

This artifact should include:

  • Diagnosis (Primary and treating)/Classification

  • Description of the client including current status

  • Long-term goal statement (Smart goals)

  • Short term objectives

  • Level of service delivery (frequency, intensity, duration)

 

6. Letters of Reference

The applicant must submit 3 letters of reference. References must include current/previous employers, interdisciplinary colleagues, AAC community members including users and their families, and clinical/research supervisors.

 

7. Fees

  1. Application fee: $200.00

  2. Test Fee: $275.00

  3. Annual Renewal Fee: $150.00

 

8. Reapplication

For those reapplying for BC-AAC, it is strongly recommended to wait for a period of 18-24 months before reapplying for BC-AAC.  In that way, the changes and improvements you have made will have been established for a period of time.

The requirements regarding CEUs, clinical hours, and related professional activities remain the same.  Once your reapplication is submitted you will be assigned 2 new reviewers to oversee your application.

 

Definitions

ASHA CEU: - link to What are ASHA Continuing Education Units (CEUs)?

The ASHA Continuing Education Unit (CEU) is a nationally recognized standard unit of measurement for participation in a continuing education (CE) course. One ASHA CEU is defined as 10 contact hours of participation in an organized CE experience offered by a provider, excluding meals and breaks.

* Professional development hour  Continuing Education Credit at the ASHA Convention

(PDH): A PDH is 60 minutes spent in a professional development activity as a learner and participant. PDHs are accumulated through participation in non-ASHA CEU activities for the purpose of maintaining your CCC.

  • 3.0 continuing education units (CEUs) = 30 PDHs

  • 1.0 CEU = 10 PDHs

  • 0.1 CEU = 1 PDH

  • 1 quarter hour of academic coursework = 10 PDHs

  • 1 semester hour of academic coursework = 15 PDHs

 

 

IACET CUEs Link to About the CEU - IACET

  • Per IACET standards, 1 IACET CEU = 10 contact hours.

  • Fundamentals Course: 1.4 CEUs (7 contact hours X 2 days X 0.1)

  • One-hour webinars: 0.1 CEUs (1 contact hour x 0.1)

  • IACET CEU decimal values are rounded to the nearest tenth

RESNA CEUs - link to  RESNA > Certification > Continuing Education > Continuing Education Policies

  • One-hour webinar: 0.1 RESNA CEU (1 contact hour x 0.1)

  • 1.5 hour workshop: 0.15 RESNA CEUs (1.5 contact hours x 0.1)

  • RESNA CEU decimal values may be rounded up to the nearest thousandth.

 

These requirements have been established for the initial 2024 application period.

For the initial 2024 application, we will accept verification of ASHA’s ethics course.

Starting in 2026

Applicants must achieve a minimum of 1.0 of the required 7.5 CEUs by participation in ADVANCED level CEU opportunities. These advanced CEU offerings may be live, in person, or virtual (e.g. ASHA Learning Pass Courses, ATIA virtual courses…)

The remaining CEU’s will need to be met by participation in Intermediate level and/or Advanced level opportunities. No beginner level CEU’s will be accepted. This reflects the current policy.

CEU events may be domestic or international. They must directly relate to Augmentative and Alternative Communication. (For example, if the opportunity includes topics of AAC and Apraxia, ONLY the talks with AAC as the primary topic will be accepted for CEUs.) A syllabus of the CEU event will also be required for review.

As noted by the website, the last 3 years (prior to the year you submit your application) of the conference CEU’s must be documented. Applicants are expected to obtain AAC related CEU’s throughout each of the 3 years immediately preceding the date of the application. 
 

Starting in 2026, all applications applying for board certification must document 3 hours in the area of AAC and ethics above and beyond the CE requirements.  The requirement for CE activity related to cultural competency, cultural humility, culturally responsive practice or diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) related to AAC will remain the same.

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