Tag Archive: collaboration

LiveBinders: 5 Online Notebooks on AAC Implementation

August 22, 2016 by - 1 Comment

LiveBinders: 5 Online Notebooks on AAC Implementation

At the ISAAC 2016 conference in Toronto, I had the opportunity to talk about using technology to share information with families, colleagues, and pre-professionals. LiveBinders, is one of the tools that were discussed both in the pre-conference session with Chris Bugaj and in my seminar on pre-service AAC education. LiveBinders are digital notebooks that make it easy to collect, curate, and share information. We’ve been writing about this tool for the past four years, but there is new material being created all the time. Here are some AAC-related LiveBinders that I’ve been exploring. AAC by Jill Beall/Region 7  ABCs of AAC (Preschool AAC) by D. McLauchlin  Literacy and AAC/Balanced Literacy by Deanna Wagner  TAAT 2015 by Janice Reese  Visuals for ASD by Penelope Arp  For more information on LiveBinders and features that you may not know about, check out their tutorials and blog. Do you make or use LiveBinders? We’d... [Read More...]

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Open Source AAC

July 20, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

Open-Source AAC

What’s better than a bunch of bright, dedicated professionals who love improving the state of AAC? How about a group that facilitates the collegial sharing of this kind of information?! In today’s post, Dr. Joe Reddington discusses his efforts to promote open-source AAC solutions. You can read about an earlier project, CommuniKate, here. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: AAC Wins the Inclusive Technology Prize A few months ago, the nonprofit I run was given £50,000 to make open licensed resources (both materials and software) a key part of the AAC world. Figure 1: Kate McCallum and Dr Joe Reddington, winners of the Inclusive Technology Prize There are lots of definitions of open-licencing that make it sound more than what it is.  Open-licencing is nothing more or less than letting people share.   One of the reasons we really like PrAACtical AAC is that they release their work under Creative Commons,  letting people make use of... [Read More...]

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How We Do It: Co-Teaching with PODD by Dana Brown and Sara Olsen

November 24, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

How We Do It: Co-Teaching with PODD by Dana Brown and Sara Olsen

When SLPs and teachers work together for the benefit of students with little or no functional speech, the results can be magical. Today, we travel to Wisconsin to visit with SLP Dana Brown and Special Educator Sara Olsen who work together at the elementary school level. In this post, Dana and Sara tell us about their experiences using PODD in a classroom of students with intellectual disability. You can learn more about their work on YouTube (Watch Your Language) where they post Word of the Week videos and snippets of AAC use in different clasroom activities. Regular readers know that we’ve posted a few articles and videos on PODD. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: We write as a team of special educators, a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and an Intellectual Disabilities teacher, and one thing that we’ve learned working closely together is that AAC is difficult and ongoing.  In this post, we are excited to share... [Read More...]

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AAC Teamwork: Encouraging Colleagues – PrAACtical Tool # 3

September 10, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC Teamwork: Encouraging Colleagues - PrAACtical Tool # 3

AAC is best played as a team sport. We’ve written about doing this with AAC inservice training, using AT throughout the school day, building classroom conversations, and other tools for using AAC in the classroom. No matter how you view it, AAC interventionists have to support one another. In this post, we continue our series of sharing printables that can be used to provide a little encouragement and recognition of our colleagues who are out there every day trying to do their best for AAC learners. You can download the bookmarks here, print and laminate them back-to-back, and share with with families, teachers, therapists, paraprofessionals, and others who are with you on this journey. And, if you missed the earlier printables, you can get those here and here.  

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4 Things to Consider When Embracing a “New Normal”

September 8, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

4 Things to Consider When Embracing a “New Normal”

It isn’t every day that we get to hear from AAC interventionists who’ve been doing this work for decades. Today, we are thrilled to welcome back SLP Marlene Cummings from Oakland Schools in Michigan.  Marlene has written several very popular posts on AAC in educational settings. (Click here to peruse them.) In this post, Marlene gets us thinking about ways to deal with change in a positive and sustainable fashion. Her passion for supporting both kids and colleagues is infectious. Enjoy! :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: I have the privilege, as part of a 5 member AAC Team, of supporting 28 school districts with more than 100 teams serving students with complex communication needs using AAC. The staff members and teams we support come with varied levels of knowledge, diverse experiences, and degrees of confidence. For us the new school year is just around the corner. We are already receiving calls and emails reporting... [Read More...]

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AAC Teamwork: Encouraging Colleagues – PrAACtical Tool #2

August 27, 2015 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC Teamwork: Encouraging Colleagues - PrAACtical Tool #2

Even when everyone has good intentions, AAC implementation doesn’t happen overnight. Strengthening our resolve to learn the student’s AAC system, model it as we speak to them, provide instruction, and give ample opportunities for practice takes commitment and leadership. In the past, we’ve talked about strategies to get the team onboard with skills like aided language input, using no-tech communication boards to build language, and shared training materials. In this series, we’re sharing some printables to recognize the efforts of our team members, and keep them energized to keep going. Here is the second set of tags/bookmarks to share with your teams. You can download them here. If you missed the first set, you can get those here.

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How I Do It: Connecting with Colleagues in a Shared Community of Practice by Karen Natoci Florka

November 25, 2014 by - 3 Comments

How I Do It: Connecting with Colleagues in a Shared Community of Practice by Karen Natoci Florka

I had the pleasure of meeting Karen Natoci Florka last month when I visited Michigan and am delighted that she was willing to introduce us to the Shared Community of Practice from the team at The Communication Matrix. Karen is an SLP who has served students aged 3-26 with various physical, sensory and intellectual challenges at Wing Lake Developmental Center (Detroit area) since 2001. She is a part time lecturer at Wayne State University where she teaches a course entitled “Communication Acquisition and Educational Interventions for Students with Moderate to Severe Impairments.” She is part of the Communication Matrix Charter group. Click on the image below to learn more. The Communication Matrix is growing into a Shared Community of Practice!  I remember the first few weeks in my new job at a wonderful, magical, school for children with complex communication needs. It was time for my first evaluation. These amazing students were challenging!  They seemed... [Read More...]

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Watch It Wednesday: Eye Gaze Research

August 6, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Watch It Wednesday: Eye Gaze Research

Today, we’ll take a look at a collaborative effort by researchers at University College London (Department of Developmental Science), Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (Neurodisability Service), and Barnsley Hospital. These researchers are investigating the eye gaze patterns of children with cerebral palsy who have little or no functional speech. Could tracking eye movements be a useful way to assess language skills? This is a line of research we will be watching. Direct Link: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/gaze

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5 Things to Love About the SETT Framework

September 6, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

5 Things to Love About the SETT Framework

The SETT Framework by Dr. Joy Zabala (Director of Technical Assistance at CAST) is a widely used approach for collaborative decision-making in AT. It’s a tool we love, teach about, and use, but many SLPs aren’t that familiar with it. Here are some of the reasons we think it deserves your consideration. 1. It gives everyone a common focus. We all look at the student from our own perspective and sometimes fail to think about how our priorities intersect with those of other team members. The SETT Framework helps us to all look at the same thing at the same time. 2. Defensive, who me? When you focus on a framework or process, people are less likely to become defensive when we’re trying to make things better for the student. 3. It becomes a way of thinking. Teams that are in the habit of using the SETT Framework are generally... [Read More...]

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