PrAACtical Learning with AAC in the Cloud

June 27, 2017 by - 1 Comment


PrAACtical Learning with AAC in the Cloud

What are you doing later today? How about tomorrow? If you’re in the mood for AAC learning, please join me at this free online conference, AAC in the Cloud. 3 tracks with presentations on intriguing topics Great presenters, including a keynote by Kate Ahern Space for interaction and dialogue Free?! Yes, thanks to the amazing team at CoughDrop. Click on the image below to find out more. See you soon!  

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PrAACtically July: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary

June 26, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtically July: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary

Know anyone who has access to AAC tools but doesn’t yet use them throughout the day? Keiran has a new AAC app that is well-populated with core vocabulary. Gabbie has had an SGD for awhile but doesn’t use it as frequently as her team had hoped. Hudson is transitioning from PECS to an AAC device with more robust language. While different in many ways, each of these learners has a common need: frequent opportunities to learn about and use core vocabulary. To accomplish this, their SLPs, teachers, and families select a dozen or so core words and pay special attention to those each month. That allows them to highlight this small group of words using focused language stimulation, aided language input, and specific activities designed to teach or practice them. In previous years, we shared lists of some core words to help you do just that.    Set 1 (2013:... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #26: June, 2017

June 25, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #26: June, 2017

Busy week? Here are a couple of posts that you might have missed. Monday: Administratively Speaking: 5 Considerations for Recruiting and Retaining AAC SLPs (Part 2) Wednesday: Video of the Week: Object Symbols and Core Vocabulary And while we’re at it, here are a few throwbacks on topics of prAACtical interest. AAC and Emergent Literacy SMORRES From Solitary Play to Interaction: 5 Things to Try with Kids Who Love Their iPad Games Have a great week!

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Administratively Speaking: 5 Considerations for Recruiting and Retaining AAC SLPs (Part 2)

June 19, 2017 by - 2 Comments


Administratively Speaking: 5 Considerations for Recruiting and Retaining AAC SLPs (Part 2)

Do any of these situations sound familiar? Janelle, an SLP in an urban elementary school, was flustered when the principal directed her to ensure that her students’ AAC devices didn’t go home on weekends or during school breaks. She hated to see the students lose access to communication during those times but, Janelle understood the principal’s logic. The device had been bought and paid for by the school, and they had to scrounge around to find the funding for it. If it were to get damaged or lost, the school would have to replace it, and there were no funds for that. It was unfortunate, Janelle felt, but, what could she do? Later in the year, when the results of a system-wide audit came out, Janelle’s students were some of the ones identified as having been denied their rights to a Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Had she known the... [Read More...]

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How I Do It: A Year of Core Words in Action

June 15, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


How I Do It: A Year of Core Words in Action

Some of the best resources are the ones that we can modify to use in ways that fit our own specific needs. In this post, SLP Kim Hurley, a graduate of Indiana University, shares her experiences in experimenting with the Year of Core Vocabulary approach. Kim has spent the past 15 years as a specialist for students with moderate and severe disabilities or complex communication needs in educational settings. Currently, she is employed by Forest Hills Special Education Cooperative, serving students in rural Monroe and Owen Counties in south central Indiana. Enjoy! :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: For the past 15 years, I have been working as an SLP serving public school students who have moderate to severe disabilities or complex communication needs.  Several students benefit from various forms of augmentative communication, and in my years of work I have come to appreciate the flexibility that a robust, core word based system provides.  However, when... [Read More...]

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AAC In the Classroom: Considerations for Modeling Core Vocabulary

June 12, 2017 by - 2 Comments


AAC In the Classroom: Considerations for Modeling Core Vocabulary

Here in the US, many schools just let out for summer vacation but some special education teachers and SLPs are already thinking about things they want to prepare over the school break so they’ll be ready for fall. Some are contemplating changes to the ways they support AAC in the classroom. We’ve heard from several who are planning to prioritize modeling of core vocabulary using aided language input. Before we start making large core boards and other support materials, though, it’s helpful to stop and think through some important issues. A little planning now will save time and effort in the long run. If you’re planning to do this kind of prep work over the summer, here are some questions for your team to consider. Does each student with complex communication needs have access to an AAC system that includes core vocabulary? If not, why not? In some cases, the students... [Read More...]

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Site of the Month: AAC Funding Help

June 8, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


Site of the Month: AAC Funding Help

Here in the US, there are many paths to getting access to AAC devices and services. Depending on the age of the communicator and other factors, we may pursue AAC funding the through the schools, public or private insurance, government programs for veterans and people with disabilities, and other sources. It is a complex task that requires specialized knowledge and some fortitude. June’s Site of the Month, AAC Funding Help, has been a resource to professionals and families for over a decade. Established by Lew Golinker at the Assistive Technology Law Center, the site has a wealth of resources to explore. Here are some highlights from that site. Overview of US funding options for AAC  Specific details about the requirements and procedures for major avenues to AAC funding  Sample letters of medical necessity and information on coding AAC devices and services for reimbursement purposes  AAC Report Writing Coach  Database of... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Resources: AAC 101 Flipbook Handout

June 5, 2017 by - 3 Comments


PrAACtical Resources: AAC 101 Flipbook Handout

Looking for a quick, easy-to-read resource to supplement your AAC trainings with colleagues and families? In today’s post we share a flipbook-style handout that might come in handy. It covers basic tips under these headings: AAC Near Me (See me, see my AAC) Speak AAC (Aided language input) Speaking Style (Descriptive talking) Expectations (Setting the bar high) Support (AAC facilitation strategies) FAQs (Q & A about implementation) Top 10 Tips You can download the file here. Enjoy!  

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AAC in the High School Classroom: Where Core Vocabulary Meets Life Skills

June 1, 2017 by - 10 Comments


AAC in the High School Classroom: Where Core Vocabulary Meets Life Skills

Today, guest blogger Sarah Mueller, a special education teacher in Rochester Michigan,  shares her thoughts on supporting core vocabulary learning while working on functional life skills. Sarah, teaches high school students with intellectual and developmental disabilities and strives to embed language and communication throughout her students’ entire school experience. Sarah helps her students become strong self-advocates as they prepare for adult life. Marlene Cummings, Sarah’s colleague and mentor, introduces the post. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::           I (Marlene Cummings) had the pleasure of meeting Sarah 2 years ago as a new teacher in one of my districts. She immediately engaged in our county level professional learning opportunities in AAC and Literacy. The AAC focus presented strategies to support AAC and language learning including: core vocabulary, aided language input, vocabulary instruction and opportunities. The literacy focus was designed to create and implement a comprehensive literacy program taught by Drs. Karen Erickson and David Koppenhaver. The outcome:... [Read More...]

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