PrAACtical Thinking PrAACtical Resources: Making Decisions about Reading Accessibility Options

Published on April 30th, 2012 | by Carole Zangari

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PrAACtical Resources: Making Decisions about Reading Accessibility Options

It’s easy to daydream when you’re sitting in the sun. It is a stunningly beautiful day here in south Florida. “Too nice to stay indoors,” my mom would have said, and so I’m sitting outside with my laptop working away. Before long, my mind starts to wander.

Ever think about what you would do if you weren’t an SLP? For me ‘reading teacher’ would be pretty close to the top of the list.

Melinda Cox Free Library I was one of those kids who spent hours in the children’s library just devouring books. Melinda Cox Free Library was my home away from home, and In those days it was run by the Edgar sisters, Miss Martha and Miss Alice. They tolerated no nonsense in ‘their’ library and the adult books were strictly off-limits to young people. We were confined to the Littleton room, a well-stocked children’s section, where I spent most of my time. When I turned 11, Miss Martha noticed that I kept taking out books I had already read and took pity on me: She granted me special permission to use the main (adult) portion of the library. My mom had to sign a waiver and then I was free to roam the stacks. For weeks, I tiptoed around like a mouse, afraid that she would notice me and rescind the privilege. Reading has always been one of my fondest pleasures.

Most of our AAC kids struggle with reading, so I try to infuse literacy instruction into AAC therapy or teaching whenever I can. It can be really tough to figure out ways to get them access to sufficient amounts of appropriate reading instruction and teachers often struggle with when and how to make adaptations to the materials and curricula. I was excited to learn about a formative assessment process to help therapists, educators, students, and families make these important decisions. The Protocol for Accommodations in Reading (PAR) by Denise DeCoste and Linda Bastiani Wilson, is published by Don Johnston. You can download the manual for free here and watch a recorded  webinar on implementing this tool from a link on that page.

The PAR is a framework for decision-making thaPARt will be useful to many people with AAC needs. Hope you enjoy exploring it.

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About the Author

Carole Zangari

Carole Zangari has been involved in the practice and teaching of AAC for over 20 years. She is a professor of speech-language pathology and has been fortunate to have been able to introduce many children and adults to the world of AAC. "Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing." Theodore Roosevelt

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