A Model of Observational Screening for the Analysis of Interaction and Communication (MOSAIC) was developed in order to provide a structured approach to observing the communication skills of adults and children with an intellectual disability.


Formal assessment of people with intellectual disability and complex communication needs does not provide adequate information on which to determine how a person functions in a range of environments (Johnson, Douglas, Bigby, & Iacono, 2009). Many caregivers will comment that the communication skills of a person in a therapy session differ from how they communicate at home. In recognition of this, speech pathologists have typically supported their assessment results with informal observations and by interviewing significant others (Cascella, 2006).


MOSAIC was devised to provide a standard framework for gathering observations and to ensure consistency between observers. MOSAIC can be used by speech pathologist but it may also be used by others who have completed training to use it.

MOSAIC is an observational tool. It is designed to provide detailed information about the communicative interactions between a person with intellectual disability and a range of communicative partners in a variety of settings. It can be 

used with both children and adults. MOSAIC can be used with both intentional and unintentional communicators.


Cascella, P. W. (2006). Standardised speech-language tests and students with intellectual disability: A review of normative data.Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 31(2), 120-124.

Johnson, H., Douglas, J., Bigby, C., & Iacono, T. (2009). Maximizing community inclusion through mainstream communication services for adults with severe disabilities. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 11(3), 180-190.