The Bridge School

Communicative Competence

Peer Interactions

Peers are natural facilitators of language and communication. Bridge School students have frequent opportunities to interact with same age, typically-developing peer partners. Several examples of instructional contexts that foster peer interactions at The Bridge School follow.


Each of our students is included in a regular education classroom for selected subjects. In addition, our students interact with their peers on the playground. These inclusion experiences provide multiple interaction opportunities and enable our students to test out newly-acquired communication skills.

Ability Awareness Presentations

Ability Awareness Presentations are meant to increase other students’ awareness of the competencies, strengths, and educational supports of students with disabilities (Hunt et al, 2009). Bridge School staff provide an ability awareness presentation to students in regular education classrooms each time one of our students is included. This 5-30 minute presentation is designed to:

  • Educate peers about the unique communication modes and strategies used by our student as well as build awareness of people with communication disabilities in general
  • Engage peers by providing hands-on opportunities to practice interaction strategies with the student who uses AAC and to learn some basic information about the communication tools and assistive technologies the student uses
  • Enlist socially-responsive partners as initial peer partners for the Bridge School student to meet and interact with.