Using the Communication Matrix to Structure Intervention - Counselling

Using the Communication Matrix to Structure Intervention


Communication is a right for any person. Many students with significant disabilities struggle with developing language. Many families and teachers have difficulty understanding their communicative attempts, and that behavior IS communication. There are many ways individuals can communicate their wants and needs, including sign language, pictures, and gestures. The Communication Matrix is a tool that assesses expressive communication for not only spoken language but also alternative forms for beginning communicators, regardless of their age. These are individuals who have communication skills that typical developing individuals exhibit between birth and 24 months of age.

Participants will learn how to administer and interpret the Communication Matrix, as well as introducing participants to the Communication Matrix Intervention Modules which are located on the West Virginia Department of Education website. The modules include the Foundation and Essential Strategies and a separate intervention module for each of the 7 levels of the Communication Matrix. These sessions will cover the material included in the Foundations and Essential Strategies allowing the participants to interact with this material in small groups. The modules are designed to assist teams in creating and supporting communication across environments and with multiple communication partners. Participants will learn how to use these modules to create evidence-based communication intervention for individuals with complex communication needs. The modules are filled with many instructional strategies that will help teams implement effective practices to develop more proficient communication. Strategies that will be covered include developing relationships and responsive and supportive environments, the use of routines and wait time, as well as specific instructional strategies including touch cues and object cues. After completing these workshops, participants will have access to the seven intervention modules and resources that are web based.

Course Outline Session 1 (4 hours)

  1. Introduction to the Communication Matrix
  2. Discussion of who benefits from the Communication Matrix
  3. Administration and interpretation of the Communication Matrix
  4. Introduction to the Communication Matrix Intervention Modules – The Foundation

Course Outline Session 2 (4 hours)

  1. Interpreting Communication Matrix Profile
  2. Introduction to the Essential Strategies for intervention
  3. Introduction to the Communication Matrix Intervention Modules (Levels I - VII)
  4. Question and Answers

Course Objectives:

Participants will be able to:

  • Describe individuals who would benefit from the Communication Matrix
  • Administer the Communication Matrix
  • Interpret the Communication Matrix Profile
  • Describe intervention strategies that might benefit beginning communicators
  • Describe how to use the Communication Matrix modules to design communication intervention

Who Can Benefit?

This workshop is appropriate for:

  • Family Members
  • Special Educators (Working with severe and profound/individuals with complex communication needs)
  • Support Workers
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Psychologists

Providers Terms

  1. Please note that registration will be on a first-come-first-served basis and course fees must be paid prior to closing date to reserve a place.
  2. Payment of fees is not a guarantee for the event to be staged as planned. Should the event be cancelled for any reason, a full refund will be made to all registered participants and no other claims are allowed. The organizer disclaims responsibility should any change in the event occur for any reason.
  3. Participants to the course are not allowed to split registration for different persons.
  4. For 1 full day seminar, only one set of meal entitlement per day shall be given to the registered participants. For half day seminar, only coffee and tea will be provided.
  5. Food served will be “no pork and no lard”.
  6. No refund of fees for participant cancellations including medical leave but substitutions are allowed with written request to organizer at least two working days before the course commences.
  7. Registration will be taken as confirmed upon receipt of payment or issuance of invoice. Any cancellation will not be allowed. However, substitutions are allowed with written request to organizer at least two working days before the course commences. Please note that registration will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Payment must be received by due date, before attendance of training.
  8. All information provided in this form is accurate up


Course Fee

USD $256



Course FeeClosed
Contact Hours:

8.0 hrs

Start Time:

Tue, 12 March 2024 , 8:30 AM

Finish Time:

Thu, 14 March 2024 , 12:30 PM


Morning Session


Online Session






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Webinar, Online,

Bridging Talents



Nancy Steele

Nancy Steele is an Educational Consultant, with expertise in children with significant disabilities. She was a Project Specialist for the National Center on Deaf-Blindness for 14 years. She served as the Lead on the Literacy Initiative, which included development of the website "All Children Can Read." She also worked on the Open Hands, Open Access Intervener Modules. Prior to that, she taught deaf and deaf-blind children in Kentucky for 17 years.


Karen Haines

Karen B. Haines is a speech-language pathologist who has worked in the public schools, an acute care hospital, and as a Teaching Associate Professor and Speech Clinic Coordinator for the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at West Virginia University. She recently retired from WVU after 39 years; although, she remains active in the field particularly in the area of AAC. She continues to teach graduate level AAC coursework and to provide AAC consulting services. She also teaches professional development coursework in Assistive Technology and AAC in partnership with the West Virginia Department of Education.

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