Good communication is the gateway to learning, friendships, academic achievement and success at work

Alternative Paths to Literacy: literacy for children and young people who use AAC

Alternative Paths to Literacy is a free resource for practitioners who support literacy skills in children and young people who use Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC). It presents a series of key recommendations for practitioners based on the evidence from a literature review conducted by Janice Murray, Manchester Metropolitan University’s Professor of Communication Disability (AAC), findings from a national survey and input from an advisory group.


In 2017 the Department for Education funded The Communication Trust to conduct a research project on the effective teaching of literacy for pupils who use AAC. The project was to consist of a number of components:

  • a comprehensive review of 95-100% of the existing research literature, conducted by Professor Janice Murray of Manchester Metropolitan University
  • a national survey of practitioners to get a clearer understanding of how current educational practice reflects the evidence base
  • consultation with an advisory group of people working directly with this population of children and young people
  • and the production of a resource that will guidance to practitioners on the literacy development of pupils with complex communication needs


For more information on the project please contact