PrAACtically June: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Words

May 25, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtically June: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Words

The month is drawing to a close and that means it’s time to prepare to highlight a new set of core words. If you’re helping an AAC learner become more capable in using high frequency words to express themselves, we hope you join us in highlighting the June words and creating opportunities for our AAC learners to use them throughout the day. Whether you are following along with the 2013 Year of Core  (Set 1-12 words/month) or the 2014 A(nother) Year of Core:  (Set 2-16 words/month; Different than the previous year’s core words), or just getting started, here are some helpful resources. Our June words are listed below. Set 1 (2013) List: after, am/be/is, because, can, cold, fast, fun, have, hungry, let, need, talk Set 2 (2014) List: about, back, buy, grandmother, hand, inside, lose, move, okay, people, quiet, short, show, two, water, yellow Templates for you to plug in... [Read More...]

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Administratively Speaking: Recruiting AAC SLPs (Part 1)

May 22, 2017 by - 4 Comments


Administratively Speaking: Recruiting AAC SLPs (Part 1)

In a great many places, SLPs are in short supply. SLPs with specialized skills, such as those who can support students with AAC needs, are even harder to find. How can program administrators find, and, even more importantly, retain qualified SLPs? In this series, we share a few thoughts on the topic of space. One of the most meaningful things that an administrator is pretty simple: Ensure that the SLP has appropriate space in which to work. This basic requirement is frequently overlooked, particularly in educational settings. In schools, the SLP space is sometimes transient (e.g., M/W/F in the psychologist office, T/Th in the OT/PT area), inadequate (e.g., former book storage closet), or inappropriate (e.g., noisy environment, too small to hold groups).  Sometimes, the space for SLP work is completely nonexistent. In the past few weeks, I’ve heard from SLPs who are expected to function without a dedicated workspace beyond... [Read More...]

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How I Do It: Using an App to Create AAC Materials & Visual Supports

May 18, 2017 by - 2 Comments


How I Do It: Using an App to Create AAC Materials & Visual Supports

When we think of AAC apps, expressive communication and voice output generally come to mind. But there are other kinds of AAC apps, too, including those that are used to create printable materials. Today, we hear from a clinician who uses this kind of AAC app on a regular basis. Georgia Karavias is a speech language pathologist whose career has centered around working with school-aged children and adolescents who have physical disabilities and communication difficulties. Georgia is passionate about utilizing alternative access methods and inclusive technologies to enable independent communication using AAC systems.  She currently works at Scope’s Communication and Inclusion Resource Centre (CIRC) as part of the communication access team in a community capacity building role.  In this post, she talks about how she uses AAC and visual supports created with an app developed at her workplace. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: I am a speech pathologist who has worked with children with complex... [Read More...]

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How We Do It: Assessing AAC Skills and Competencies to Inform Intervention & Show Progress

May 15, 2017 by - 1 Comment


How We Do It: Assessing AAC Skills and Competencies to Inform Intervention & Show Progress

It’s Better Hearing and Speech Month ( #BHSM) and we are highlighting the work of talented AAC SLPs. We’re so happy to have Georgia-based Vicki Clarke back, this time with Holly Schneider, to talk about a longstanding collaboration that more AAC teams need to know about. Vicki’s private practice, Dynamic Therapy Associates, centers on AAC assessment and intervention. She works both with individuals and school districts, and serves children and adults with a variety of challenges and etiologies (e.g., motor disorders, memory, attention and learning difficulties, sensory impairment, neurological differences, syndromes and seizure disorders, congenital and acquired difficulties).Holly is a full time employee of Tobii Dynavox on the Clinical Content and Training Team.  She is responsible for developing AAC training materials; and educating teams, professionals and families on AAC applications and implementation. In this post, they tell us about the development of the second edition of the Dynamic AAC Goals Grid.... [Read More...]

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How We Do It: Pragmatic Skill Intervention in AAC with Dr. Jill Senner & Matthew Baud

May 11, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


How We Do It: Pragmatic Skill Intervention in AAC with Dr. Jill Senner & Matthew Baud

Better Hearing and Speech Month is in full swing and we are excited to see SLPs talking about tools and strategies for supporting people with AAC needs. Many individuals with AAC needs have difficulty using language in expected ways, particularly in social interactions. In this post, we welcome back guest authors Jill Senner and Matthew Baud to discuss ways in which they target pragmatic language in their clinical work. They have a prAACtical approach to this subject and are generous in sharing AAC resources, including vocabulary/pagesets for some popular AAC apps/SGDs. Enjoy! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Chat with Me: Pragmatic Skill Intervention in AAC with Jill E Senner, PhD, CCC-SLP & Matthew R. Baud, MS, CCC-SLP Pragmatic skills, commonly referred to as social skills, play an important role in the successful integration of individuals with disabilities. People with disabilities need adequate social skills to live and be educated in the least restrictive environment, to be... [Read More...]

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Site of the Month: Preschool AAC and Visual Supports from Orange County Public Schools

May 8, 2017 by - 1 Comment


Site of the Month: Preschool AAC and Visual Supports

Where can I go to get AAC-friendly resources for preschool children? Join us as we explore the Wiki sharing space by the Exceptional Student Education Program of Orange County Public Schools in the Orlando, Florida area.  Over the years, their AT team and others have compiled an impressive group of materials that can be used by teachers, therapists, and parents. You can see guest posts on Essential Tricks for Supporting AAC in Schools by some of the team here and here. In this post, we feature one of their webpages that is used for resource sharing. Many of the files are in Boardmaker format, but there are also some in Word and PDF document formats. Most of the resources are available from the menu on main page (click here). Highlights from this site include: Unit-based Resources (including classroom and therapy materials, parent letter, & more) are accessible from the main page Me &... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #19: May 2017

May 7, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #19, May 2017

Hope your Better Hearing and Speech Month is off to a great start! Need ideas for things to do, materials to download, or information to share? Check out our first post in this list. We love the 2017 theme – Communication: The Key to Connection. Monday: It’s PrAACtically Better Hearing & Speech Month Wednesday: Video of the Week: AAC Assessment with a Formal Test Thursday: PrAACtical Research: Profiles of Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

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PrAACtical Research: Profiles of Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

May 4, 2017 by - 2 Comments


PrAACtical Research: Profiles of Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities

In today’s post, we welcome Dr. Kathy Howery who will be appearing here periodically to review some of the AAC research that is published in journals around the world. Kathy joins us from Alberta, Canada, and has worked in the field of assistive technology and special education for over three decades. Most recently she has completed her doctoral studies where she used phenomenological methods to seek understanding of the lived experience of speaking with/through a speech generating device. Kathy is currently working as consultant to schools and school districts across Alberta focusing primarily on children and youth with complex communication needs. In this first post, she helps us understand a study by Drs. Karen Erickson and Lori Geist published in the AAC journal last year. Enjoy! ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Erickson, K. A. & Geist, L. A. (2016). The profiles of students with significant cognitive disabilities and complex communication needs. Augmentative and Alternative Communication,... [Read More...]

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It’s PrAACtically Better Hearing & Speech Month

May 1, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts


It's PrAACtically Better Hearing & Speech Month

Here in the US, today is the start of Better Hearing and Speech Month (#BHSM).This year’s theme, Communication-The Key to Connection, has lots of prAACtical implications. The American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) sponsors activities and shares resources every year, encouraging us to build awareness of communication and the professionals who serve those with speech, language, hearing, and swallowing disorders. For those of us interested in AAC, it’s also an opportunity to help our fellow professionals better understand the needs of people with complex communication needs. There are lots of ways that you can get involved to support AAC and spread the word about effective AAC practices to colleagues and families. Click on the image below to learn about what the ASHA is doing and to get a few ideas to get you started. Let’s make an impact.  

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PrAACtically May: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary Words

April 27, 2017 by - 4 Comments


PrAACtically May: AAC Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary Words

It is just about time to flip the calendar to a new page, and that means it’s time for a new set of core words to model, elicit, and practice. In this post, we have a number of resources and an announcement (**scroll to the bottom**) for those who’ve tried their hand at implementation. Thanks to all who’ve reached out with questions, comments, and words of appreciation for the Year of Core Vocabulary series. Here are some helpful resources for those who are using the words in Set 1 ( 2013 Year of Core Words) or Set 2 (Another Year of Core Words). If you are contemplating this approach, feel free to jump in at any time. The best time to start (or re-start) is right now. Don’t worry about retracing steps, or not ‘doing it right.’ The best way to get better at core vocabulary instruction is just to... [Read More...]

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