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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.


The NJC will host a conference “Honoring the Past, Committing to the Future: The Next Generation of Research, Policy, and Practice in Severe Communication Disabilities” on October 20–21, 2022 at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina. Please mark you calendar. Details will follow.

2021 McLean–Yoder Award (MYAPE) Winner Announced

North Carroll Middle SchoolThe NJC recently honored North Carroll Middle School in Hampstead, Maryland, with the 2021 McLean Yoder Award for Professional Excellence.

Rose Sevcik and Dr. Andrea Barton-Hulsey, co-chairs of the NJC, felt that this year’s award winner was particularly noteworthy due to the team’s commitment to school-wide inclusive practices. The team has a clear 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 peers.

The NJC congratulates this year’s winner and encourages others to nominate innovative teams. The submission deadline for the 2022 award is June 10, 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