Testing the Reliability and Validity of the Therapy Outcome Measure for AAC



Research Stream

    • Sally Boa (Talking Mats Ltd)
    • Joan Murphy (Talking Mats Ltd)
    • Pam Enderby (University of Sheffield)

Funding / Sponsorship:

Project was funded by NHS Education for Scotland and was conducted by Talking Mats and Professor Pam Enderby from the University of Sheffield.


We will describe a project, funded by NHS Education Scotland, which tested the validity and reliability of a new Therapy Outcome Measure for AAC: TOMs AAC.


This project was conducted in two phases:

Testing validity: (i) AAC professionals were recruited and trained in use of a draft version of TOMs AAC; they were then asked to rate up to ten clients using TOMs AAC; (ii) AAC professionals were invited to participate in one of three focus groups where face validity of TOMs AAC was discussed; they were also invited to complete a questionnaire about the validity of TOMs AAC; (iii) focus group and questionairre data were analysed using thematic analysis; (iv) changes were made to TOMs AAC in light of the focus group and questionnaire results.

Testing reliability: ten case histories were prepared and AAC professionals were asked to rate each one independently. Scores will be compared between professionals and analysed for reliability.


Validity: AAC professionals felt that TOMs AAC had strong face validity, but had some suggestions about how some of the descriptors in each domain of the TOMs AAC could be changed to make it easier to use in practice. Reliability: Reliability of the revised version of AAC TOMs is currently being tested and will be reported on at the conference.


Outcome Measures in AAC is an important topic, but few standardised reliable outcome measures currently exist for use with people who use AAC. Initial findings show that TOMs AAC has strong face validity for AAC professionals. We will report on results from reliability testing.

Level of Session


Age Group

All Ages


Primary school
Secondary school
Special school
Further/Higher Ed.

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