Tag Archive: school

How We Do It: Developing & Implementing a District-wide Focus on Communication and Core Vocabulary (Part 2)

October 5, 2017 by - 4 Comments

How We Do It: Developing, Implementing a District-wide Focus on Communication and Core Vocabulary (Part 2)

We’re back with Georgia-based SLP Jennifer Ro to hear more about a district-wide rollout of AAC in which they established (and have maintained) a core vocabulary focus. Jennifer is currently the lead AAC-SLP on Forsyth County Schools’ Assistive Technology Team where she provides AAC implementation support and trainings for staff and families and conducts individual AAC student consults.   You can see Part 1 of the post here. Today, Jennifer shares some of what they learned in the process of creating AAC materials for the classroom and supporting the implementation of those materials. Let’s continue with more ‘lessons learned’ from this AAC experience. =================   How We Do It: Developing, Implementing a District-wide Focus on Communication & Core Vocabulary (Part 2) How we did it. And keep doing it …  😉       Create and develop supplemental materials that can be utilized universally and then modified, if needed, for individual student or teacher... [Read More...]

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How We Do It: Developing & Implementing a District-wide Focus on Communication and Core Vocabulary (Part 1)

September 28, 2017 by - 3 Comments

How We Do It: Developing, Implementing a District-wide Focus on Communication & Core Vocabulary (Part 1)

One of the best parts of blogging is getting to connect with talented professionals who are committed to meeting the needs of people who use AAC.   In today’s post, SLP Jennifer Ro shares some of the ‘lessons learned’ in implementing a core vocabulary approach to AAC throughout an entire school district. Jennifer is part of the Assistive Technology Team at Forsyth County Schools in Georgia. Focusing much of her 20+ year career in the field of AAC, Jennifer has provided AAC and speech-language services through the public schools, private clinics, early intervention programs, and community-based adult group homes and workshops.    Jennifer helped develop Forsyth’s Core Word Board utilized district-wide. Her current interests include collaborative models of service delivery and staff development in the area of AAC. She has presented at the state and local level with a focus on communication related to AAC, core vocabulary, and language development, social-emotional engagement, visual... [Read More...]

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Video of the Week: Supporting AAC Learners in the Classroom

August 2, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts

Video of the Week: Supporting AAC Learners in the Classroom

Getting ready to head back to school? There are lots of things we can do to help our AAC learners be successful in the classroom and develop their language skills. In today’s post, we feature another wonderful video in the Power AAC series sponsored by PaTTAN. Master AAC clinician Gail Van Tatenhove is the speaker and shares essential information about ways in which partners can support students who are learning to use AAC systems. Before beginning, you may want to download this handout with links to video clips of the target strategies being used.   We’re grateful to Gail and PaTTAN for making this video and sharing it so that we can all benefit.  

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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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Video of the Week: Breaking Down Barriers to Inclusive Education for AAC Learners

June 14, 2017 by - Leave your thoughts

Video of the Week: Breaking Down Barriers to Inclusive Education for AAC Learners

How can we help our AAC learners become cognitively engaged and participate fully in instructional activities? What can we do to support social connectedness and help them make contributions to classroom learning experiences? In this week’s featured video, which is embedded in a fuller AT Internet Module, Erin Sheldon helps us answer those kinds of questions and shares a framework to help us plan for full participation in learning experiences. We’re grateful to Erin, OCALI, and AT Internet Modules for creating and sharing these wonderful resources.  

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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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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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PrAACtical Teaching in the ASD Classroom: Predictable Chart Writing with Core Vocabulary

December 29, 2016 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Teaching in the ASD Classroom

We are closing out the year with a bang by combining two of our favorite things: working on AAC and literacy. In this post, Michigan-based teachers Amy Devin and Lauren Pawlowski return to discuss their strategies for building communication skills in the context of writing activities. Enjoy their detailed descriptions of how they implement a 5-day writing sequence in their classrooms! :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Predictable Chart Writing with Core Vocabulary If writing with your students is something you are apprehensive about, then Predictable Chart writing is a good place to start. You get a lot of bang for your buck, as you can work on many different concepts as you are instructing through the week.  Some areas you will be able to work on is location and meaning of core, concepts about print, print awareness and fine motor skills. Prior to starting your Predictable Chart Writing, you have to have a plan on which... [Read More...]

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How We Do It: AAC in the Special Education Classroom

December 5, 2016 by - 2 Comments

At the ASHA Convention last month, I chatted with an SLP about her secret longing: To take a sabbatical and travel the world to see AAC in action. Wouldn’t that be exciting?! In the meantime, we’ll have to live vicariously and peek into AAC practices through the words and pictures of dedicated professionals. Angi Pearce, a teacher at Kowhai Special School in Hastings, New Zealand, was kind enough to help us out and share her experiences in increasing AAC use in her classroom. Angi is the team leader for the Junior School classes (ages 5-11) and graciously prepared this post with support from SLP Michelle Roberts. As you’ll see, Angi is a highly experienced educator but new to the world of AAC and not afraid to take risks and embrace change. Let’s take a look at how a veteran teacher stretched herself to incorporate more AAC into her classroom. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: AAC IN THE CLASSROOM My... [Read More...]

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