Ko tōku reo tōku ohooho : towards culturally located te reo Māori augmentative and alternative communication.
Type of content
Māori individuals who require support for verbal communication sit at the intersection of several social and cultural inequalities in Aotearoa New Zealand. Not least of these is the lack of culturally located, evidence based augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems that can be used to express te reo Māori. This language is central to Māori culture and a right of the Māori people. Recognising this injustice, this research aimed to establish an evidence base for te reo Māori AAC using kaupapa Māori methodologies.
Data was collected through conversations with three Māori AAC users and their whānau, four Māori speech-language therapists who support tamariki in Māori medium education settings, and three tertiary level te reo teachers. Thematic analysis discovered thirteen subthemes under three key themes: Te reo Māori AAC is required to grant communication access justice to a multiply marginalised group; it must allow users to express the language as it emerges from a Māori worldview; and it must be created by people of various roles working together in mutually responsive relationships. The findings are represented by a poutama to reinforce the foundational nature of the justice and Māori worldview components of creating AAC resources.
A creative exploration of possible forms and sources of te reo Māori AAC systems follows. Clinical recommendations and future research directions to facilitate the establishment of culturally located AAC tools for te reo Māori AAC are proposed. These will support individuals who require AAC to communicate in te reo Māori to achieve communication access justice.