Tag Archive: assessment

Video of the Week: Analyzing the Communication Environment

November 8, 2017 by - 2 Comments

Video of the Week: Analyzing the Communication Environment

For AAC learners, one of the most important things we can do to facilitate communication and language growth is to ensure the presence of supportive strategies throughout the school day. Today, we turn to Project ACCESS, from the Florida Department of Education, to learn more about a tool that we can use to analyze key elements of the communication environment. The Design to Learn Environmental Inventory was created by Dr. Charity Rowland (see also the Communication Matrix) and Philip Schweigert. You can learn more about this tool, what it covers, and how to use it in this 2-part series. It was created by Project ACCESS, funded by the Florida Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services, which focuses on helping educational personnel better understand the alternate achievement standards for students with significant cognitive disabilities. Design to Learn Environmental Inventory, Part 1 Part 2 We are grateful to the Florida DOE... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: A School-based Approach for Supporting the AT Needs of Young Children

January 11, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts

Video of the Week: A School-based Approach for Supporting the AT Needs of Young Children

We’re excited by the growing number of professionals who support the AT needs of young children, and, like many of you, always appreciate learning more about the practices of agencies and school systems that have initiatives in this area. It takes a lot of courage to share your practices and approaches, and we respect those organizations willing to do so. In today’s video, we learn about the processes in place in Fairfax County, Virginia which serves approximately 25,000 special education students. Dr. Cheryl Temple and her colleagues Celeste Rodrigo and Malia Waller, explain their process for supporting young children with AT needs, including AAC, in early childhood and preschool classrooms.  Many thanks to the Center on Technology and Disability for hosting this webinar and making the recording available. AT Assessments and Interventions: Tots Can Tech, Too   You can access the handouts for this session from the CTD website here... [Read More...]

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Selecting AAC Apps & Devices: A Handful of Reasons Not to Skip the Trial Period

December 19, 2016 by - 2 Comments

Selecting AAC Apps and Devices: A Handful of Reasons Not to Skip the Trial Period

Would you buy a car without test-driving it first? Most of us would not, and for very good reasons. The car might have all the features we need, come with strong reviews from respected organizations, and look great, but there’s other important data that we can only get from driving it. How does the car feel when you’re in the driver’s seat? We might rule it out if the blind spots were too big, the seat was uncomfortable, or the handling didn’t meet our needs. That information can only come from actually trying it out. Prevailing wisdom suggests that a similar process is a critical step in selecting an AAC device or app. There are a lot of things that make it tempting to skip this step. It’s difficult to arrange for trials with multiple devices and apps. It takes a lot of time. We have to train them on... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Resources: AAC Assessment Modules

December 15, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Resources: AAC Assessment Modules

If you talk to a dozen SLPs about AAC assessment practices, chances are great that at least 10 of them aren’t quite comfortable with the area. That’s why we’re so very appreciative of the efforts of Dr. Janice Murray, Helen Bell, Helen Whittle, and Osman Javaid of Manchester Metropolitan University, Sara Dale from the ACE Centre, and Janet Scott of Scottish Centre of Technology for the Communication Impaired for this terrific set of learning activities. If you want to learn more about doing good AAC assessments, this resource is a fine one to check out. Level 1 Module Level 2 consists of several modules, each of which can be accessed here. Thanks to all involved in this collaboration for sharing it with the rest of us!

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PrAACtical Resources: A Tool for Identifying Features for AT Selection

December 12, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Resources: A Tool for Identifying Features for AT Selection

Professionals who are involved in the selection of AAC and other AT are quite familiar with the concept of determining what features are needed and then selecting tools that have those features to sample. The feature matching process has been the gold standard for AAC device selection , though many practictioners report that its implementation may not be robust. Determining exactly which features an individual might need in their AAC or other AT is a critical part of this process, and one with which many teams struggle. In today’s post, we highlight an online resource designed to make this process easier for school-based teams. The Student Inventory for Technology Supports (SIFTS) is a free, web-based survey tool that helps teams match the needs and abilities of a student to specific AT features. It is not a comprehensive assessment tool but provides guidance to help teams in the process of AAC... [Read More...]

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AAC Assessment Corner with Vicki Clarke: AAC Skills Assessment for Direct Selectors

August 31, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC Assessment Corner with Vicki Clarke: AAC Skills Assessment for Direct Selectors

The month of August is almost over and we’ve saved the best for last. The month wouldn’t seem complete without hearing more of Vicki Clarke’s ideas on AAC assessment. In addition to many other things, Vicki’s practice, Dynamic Therapy Associates, does 50+ of these evaluations each year, both in the clinic and in school settings. In this post, Vicki shares some thoughts on assessing the AAC skills of people who use direct selection. As always, she packs in a lot of information and generously provides the protocol and data collection forms that she uses. You can explore some of her previous posts in the AAC Assessment Corner series here. * ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: AAC Skills Assessment for Direct Selectors I spent the morning with a great group of students at the University of Georgia (UGA) in Dr. Satterfield’s AAC class.  I was asked to talk with them about AAC assessment with an emphasis on... [Read More...]

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AAC Assessment Corner with Vicki Clarke: Standardized Tests For AAC Users

July 27, 2016 by - 2 Comments

Do you have a love-hate relationships with formal testing? Are you required to use normed tests with your minimally verbal clients? Looking for recommendations on which tests to use? AAC specialist Vicki Clarke has you covered! Like many of you, I’ve had mixed feeling when it comes to using normed assessment instruments with my AAC learners, particularly when we needed to modify the test materials or administration procedures in order for them to be able to participate and respond. If the client can’t point to pictures, give a verbal response, or sit through an entire test, we have no choice but to adapt how the test is administered. As we all know, when we adapt test materials (e.g., putting the test items on an eye gaze board) or procedures (e.g., partner-assisted scanning), we lose the ability to use the normative data. We can, though, compare our learners to themselves at... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: Observational Assessment of Beginning Communicators

June 22, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

Video of the Week: Observational Assessment of Beginning Communicators

In last week’s video, we heard from SLP Maureen Nevers about the principles and practices used in assessing individuals who are at the beginning stages of communicative development. Today, we continue that theme and focus more specifically on using observation to collect assessment data on the form and function of communication. In this video, Maureen works through some video examples to demonstrate how brief observations of interaction can yield useful information about how and why the individual is communicating. You can visit their Communication Training Series webpage to see more from this wonderful team and get the specific resource documents for this presentation. Many thanks to the Angelman Syndrome Foundation for creating and sharing these videos. Direct Link to Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qvvKNZEGMs&list=PLihsTkrStCHZVZBHDC0Qr7z10cYWC0ltx&index=36  

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Video of the Week: Assessment of the Beginning Communicator

June 15, 2016 by - 1 Comment

Video of the Week: Assessment of the Beginning Communicator

Looking to strengthen your assessment practices with beginning users of AAC? The Angelman Syndrome Foundation’s Communication Training Series has a two-part presentation on this topic that will be of interest to professionals and families alike. In this video, SLP Maureen Nevers discusses a range of prAACtical strategies and tools for gathering meaningful assessment data that helps guide intervention. One important note: Don’t skip this just because you are not currently working with individuals who have Angelman Syndrome. Like their other videos, the information in this presentation is relevant to those working with children, teens, and adults with a wide range of developmental disabilities. Direct Link to Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgrsr8a2EKA&index=35&list=PLihsTkrStCHZVZBHDC0Qr7z10cYWC0ltx Kudos to the Angelman Syndrome Foundation for this outstanding series of training videos, and for making them freely available. Interested in this topic? Stay tuned for the second video on this topic in a future post.

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AAC Assessment Corner with Vicki Clarke: AAC Assessment for Emergent Communicators

June 1, 2016 by - 2 Comments

AAC Assessment Corner with Vicki Clarke: AAC Assessment for Emergent Communicators

Today, we welcome back Vicki Clarke with more helpful information on conducting AAC assessments. If you work with individual who are at the early stages of communicative development, this post is for you! :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Some of my most favorite students are those who, at first, may not seem to notice me at all.   Sometimes these students seem to exist in their own worlds.  They don’t seem to respond in ways we would expect: looking, attending, listening, or gesturing.  They may have a diagnosis of Autism, significant developmental delay, epilepsy, or any number of syndromes. I love these kids, and unfortunately, these are often the students who don’t get referred to me.  Sometimes it takes years of working in a district before I get to see students with significant developmental delays.  These children are typically served in classrooms for students considered to be severe/profound or multi-handicapped.  Honestly, I usually get the... [Read More...]

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