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National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons With Severe Disabilities (NJC)

The purpose of the NJC is to advocate for individuals with significant communication support needs resulting from intellectual disability, that may coexist with autism, sensory and/or motor limitation. The NJC is made up of representatives from eight member organizations, and focuses on research, policy, practice, and education. Read the history of the NJC.

NJC members talk about challenges faced by individuals with severe disabilities. Read more about this video.

Announcements

McLean–Yoder Award
The The 2021 McLean–Yoder Award for Professional Excellence (MYAPE) was awarded to the team at North Carroll Middle School in Hampstead, Maryland, serving individuals with complex communication needs. Particularly noteworthy is this team’s commitment to school-wide inclusive practices and dedication to the development of universally accessible materials that benefit all students. Results of their teamwork have provided students who use augmentative and alternative communication systems increased independence, and a stronger sense of school community to engage with their peers.

They uphold the high principles of care espoused and modeled by the two researchers for whom the award was named, Drs. James McLean and David Yoder.

The MYAPE honors a team that exemplifies high quality, professional service to individuals with severe disabilities. Teams that embody elements of interprofessional practices (IPP) are especially invited to apply. Learn more about the nomination process. The deadline for submissions for the 2022 award is May 31, 2022.

Contribute to the McLean Yoder Schiefelbusch Fund (MYS Fund) 
The NJC plans to endow this ASHFoundation fund so that student scholars can receive support for research on the communication needs of people with severe disabilities. Find out more and how to donate [PDF].

NJC COVID-19 Resources
The NJC and related organizations have information for providers and others caring for individuals with severe disabilities during the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. The NJC has also created this resource to help during this time:  Communication Bill of Rights: Guiding Services for People With Severe Disabilities in the Context of COVID-19 and Systemic Racism.

NJC Network
The NJC Network is a group of professionals with a common interest in enhancing communication effectiveness for individuals with severe disabilities. Joining the network doesn't involve cost or any specific obligation. You'll hear about NJC networking opportunities. Join the NJC Network!

Topic Areas

Intervention Issues and Practices

Articles and Presentations

View published articles and presentations by the NJC.

Guidance Documents

ASHA Corporate Partners