Supporting Communication Partners in a Leisure Setting to Enhance Social Interaction and Participation for Individuals with Complex Communication Needs

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© 2018 The Korean Association of Speech-Language Pathologists. Communication partners are critical supports for individuals with complex communication needs who participate in leisure activities. Partners (e.g., volunteers, program leaders, support staff) can enhance recreational experiences by facilitating opportunities for communication, interaction, and participation. In this study, a single subject multiple baseline design across two time periods was used to examine the accuracy of volunteers' in their ability to implement a program designed to promote communication and participation. Four volunteers from therapeutic riding learned to apply a communication program that focused on providing participants with a method to capture and share their riding experience. Results indicated that the volunteers successfully learned the program and that riders increased the amount of communication turns taken with volunteers. Volunteers, participants, and caregivers also shared their overall perspectives after program implementation. Implications and recommendations for future practice are provided for volunteers, participants and caregivers, recreational therapists, and other related professionals.