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Oliver Wendt

Assistant Professor
Special Education, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Program
Department of Educational Studies, and Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences


Dr. Wendt's major research interests are in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Current research investigates the efficacy of AAC strategies including graphic symbols, manual signs, Picture Exchange Communication System, and speech-generating devices for those individuals on the autism spectrum that present with little or no functional speech. The knowledge gained from these efficacy studies is used to promote evidence-based practice (EBP) in communication disorders and special education. Another strand of research focuses on the iconicity of graphic symbols, in particular multicultural and cross-linguistic aspects of graphic symbol acquisition. From a methodological perspective, Dr. Wendt specializes in single-subject experimental designs in addition to systematic reviews and meta-analyses of single-subject and group design data.

Appointments on National/International Organizations

  • Methodological Referee for Systematic Reviews
    The International Campbell Collaboration
  • Coordinator for Special Education Subgroup
    The International Campbell Collaboration, Education Coordinating Group


Ph.D. Purdue University, 2006, Special Education/Transdisciplinary AAC Program
M.S. University of Cologne, Germany, 2000, Special Education/Developmental Disabilities
M.A. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1998, Special Education/AAC
B.S. University of Cologne, Germany, 1996, Education and Psychology

Selected Publications

  • Wendt, O., Quist, R.W., & Lloyd, L.L. (Eds.)(in press). Assistive Technology. Principles and Applications for Communication Disorders and Special Education. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing.

  • Boesch, M.C., & Wendt, O. (2009). Reducing self-injurious behaviors in individuals with autism: Benefits of Functional Communication Training. Evidence-based Practice Briefs, 4(2), 1-11.

  • Wendt, O. (2009). Research on the use of graphic symbols and manual signs. In P. Mirenda & T. Iacono (Eds.), Autism Spectrum Disorders and AAC (pp. 83-137). Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.

  • Schlosser, R.W., & Wendt, O. (2008). Effects of augmentative and alternative communication intervention on speech production in children with autism: A systematic review. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 17(3), 212-230.

  • Schlosser, R.W., Wendt, O., & Sigafoos, J. (2007). Not all systematic reviews are created equal: Considerations for appraisal. Evidence-based Communication Assessment and Intervention, 1(3), 138-150.

  • Wendt, O. (2006, September). Critically Appraised Topics: An approach to critical appraisal of evidence. Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 15(3), 24-26.

  • Wendt, O. (2006, September). Searching for and finding evidence in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Perspectives on Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 15(3), 19-21.

  • Schlosser, R.W., Wendt, O., Angermeier, K.L., & Shetty, M. (2005). Searching for evidence in augmentative and alternative communication: Navigating a scattered literature. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 21(4), 233-255.


2006- present Assistant Professor of Special Education, and Assistant Professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, College of Education, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
2005-2006 Instructor in Special Education, Department of Educational Studies, College of Education, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
2004-2005 Doctoral Research Fellow, Transdisciplinary AAC Program, College of Education, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
2000-2004 Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant, College of Education, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
1996 Rehabilitation Counselor, Workshop for People with Disabilities, Calden, Germany
1995 Direct Care Worker, Christophorus Home for People with Multiple and Profound Disabilities, Gottingen, Germany
1993-1994 Teacher's Aid, Preschool for Children with Developmental and Multiple Disabilities - German Red Cross, Hannoversch Munden, Germany


EDPS 520 Characteristics of Students with Severe Disabilities
EDPS 571 Advanced Assistive Technology
EDPS 588 Single Subject Research Designs
SLHS 525 Language and Communication in Autism Spectrum Disorders