Portland Public Schools

  Portland, Oregon

501 N. DixonPortland, OR 97227(503) 916-2000

Assistive Technology Team / Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC)

Helping educational teams find the technology and strategies to
support student access to learning and communication.

PPS Assistive Technology Team consists of specialists with backgrounds in occupational therapy, teaching and speech-language pathology. Our mission is to provide best practice to support the success of learners in our district in the areas of assistive technology (AT) and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

Our services may include AT and AAC systems and strategies, training and support to educational teams for the adaptation and modification of curriculum. We work in partnership with the building educational team.

Description of Services

Our services include training and support to educational teams for assistive technology (AT) and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems and strategies.
For necessary AT/AAC Service Request forms go to:
Resources > Forms > Assistive Technology

What is assistive technology (AT)?

"Assistive technology device means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability.

Assistive technology service means any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition or use of an assistive technology device."

Federal and Oregon Law

What is augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)?

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) refers to methods of communication that enhance or replace conventional forms of expression. The goal of AAC is to promote the most effective communication possible for individuals with severe communication disorders.

Augmentative and alternative communication includes:
  • strategies that help the speaker to be understood (such as partner strategies)
  • unaided approaches (such as gestures and sign language)
  • aided approaches (assistive technology for communication)
All speakers communicate in a variety of ways. The most successful augmentative communicators use a multi-modal approach, which may include several of the following:
  • vocalizations and residual speech
  • gestures and pointing
  • facial expressions
  • signs
  • writing and typing
  • alphabet board
  • communication displays and language boards
  • voice output communication device
We work in partnership with the building educational team to provide the following services:
  • Support and consultation
  • Access to equipment and materials
  • Assessment
  • Training
AT Contacts
 Our offices are located at:

Jefferson High School
Room D13
5210 N Kerby Ave
Portland, OR 97217

General questions can
be addressed to:
Robert Cantwell
Assistant Director
(503) 916-3435
Debbie Keller
(503) 916-3326

William Macklin
(503) 916-3335

Kristy McFarland
(503) 916-3322

Gayle McLernon
(503) 916-3336
Dustin Olson
Technology Specialist