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Transition

Partner-Assisted Scanning (Live Voice)

Partner-Assisted Scanning (Live Voice)

What It Is

  • Partner-assisted communication is a strategy that allows an individual with physical and/or visual impairments to communicate more actively by participating in conversations using choices presented aloud (auditorally).
  • Partner-assisted scanning provides individuals with the language they need to interact with their partner and the ability to cue their partner to provide more appropriate choices.
  • It is predicated on the student having an established 'yes' response.
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See It In Action

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What It's Not

  • A series of unrelated yes/no questions.
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How It Works

  • The burden of responsibility falls on the partner for the successful use of this strategy.
  • Interacting with a student using a partner-assisted scanning strategy requires practice and consistency on the part of the partner in order for the student to be successful.
  • Use vocabulary that the student understands, vocabulary at their developmental level.
  • Provide opportunities for the student to use a variety of communicative functions (e.g., ask/answer questions, comment, direct, describe, relay information, name, etc.).
  • The extent of a student's competence in using partner-assisted scanning is only as good as his/her partner's ability to present choices appropriately.

The steps…

  • Clarify what response mode you are expecting. [For example, "Use your voice to tell me which one you want."]
  • Elle smiling

    Elle uses her smile and voice to establish how she will respond to her communication partner.


  • Announce choices to the student in advance as a preview.

    Elle uses her voice to indicate her preference.

  • Present the choices one at a time, with ample time between each choice for the student to make a response. [Notes: 1) Present all three choices, even if the student selects one of the first two. S/he might want to select more than one. 2) If the student does not make a selection, offer him/her the option of 'give me more choices' or 'I don't know'.]
  • Click here for a sample partner-assisted scanning script!

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