We’re so pleased to discover a new resource created by Talking Mats through a partnership with Scotland’s National Health Service Education. This guide, Promoting Inclusion and Participation A holistic approach to working with children and young people who use AAC, has lots of useful information, embedded video clips, discussion questions, and more. You can download the book here. (Note: It is a large file that takes awhile to download.) Kudos to the wonderful team at Talking Mats for their fine work on this project, and to NHS Education Scotland for making it available on their website!
Tag Archive: schools
Armando’s parents were so disappointed when they inquired about AAC supports for their son during a recent visit to his classroom. “We don’t ‘do’ AAC,” they were told. “We’d love to, but we just don’t have the resources.” When Mia’s family moved to a new school district, they were expecting her to be able to continue using the Minspeak-based device that Mia had been learning to use in her previous school. Instead, they were told that this school uses ‘other’ kinds of AAC and that Mia would be provided with one of the AAC apps used by some of her new classmates. After all the time and effort of an AAC evaluation, and then struggling to learn the basics when Mia first got her device, it seemed unreasonable to start over with a new AAC system. But, Mia’s parents were told, ‘once she gets used to it, she’ll be able to... [Read More...]
Looking for information about how to incorporate AT into a student’s IEP? Today, we share a helpful guide, Assistive Technology and the IEP. Originally produced by the Family Center on Technology and Disability, this booklet has been republished by the Center on Technology and Disability. It provides a good overview of some of the important issues and is a great resource to share with families of students who use AAC. Click on the image below to review this guidebook.
What better way to start the day than to see how AAC Awareness Month is being celebrated in a school system?! Today, pediatric SLP Elisa Parker tells us how they do it in the school district where she works. For the past 20 years, Elisa has served young children in the Park Hill School District in Kansas City, Missouri. Her passion for AAC and children with autism led to her becoming an Autism Coach and Assistive Technology Facilitator. She has been an Autism Coach for the Gerner Family Early Education Center for 7 years and the Assistive Technology Facilitator for 3 years. Elisa consults with and provides AAC training for teachers and support staff of young students who use AAC and has also coached teams at the K-12 level. ============================ Celebrating October – AAC Awareness Month There are so many hardworking staff members I work with who implement AAC in their classrooms... [Read More...]
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...]
Today, we welcome back Dr. Jill Senner and Matthew Baud to talk about some of their strategies for implementing AAC. They have some great ideas for helping partners better support AAC learners. You can read some of their previous posts here. In the meantime, let’s see how they are helping communication partners develop their AAC facilitation skills. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Most of us already know that evidence-based research supports the use of partner-augmented input (PAI) as an intervention strategy for individuals who use AAC. However, simply having awareness of a strategy does not mean that one can easily use it. To quote Jim Knight, “We wouldn’t teach someone to drive by giving them a lecture, tossing them a book, and then turning them loose on the freeway.” Indeed, in order to learn a new skill, communication partners often need practice. In fact, one may need to try a new strategy or skill... [Read More...]
Here in the US, funding of AAC devices for students in public schools has gotten increasingly complex. In this video, Lew Golinker of the AT Law Center, explains the factors that influence this decision. Thanks to Lew and the AAC-RERC for making this available. Direct Link to Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O08OJopBH9s&feature=em-uploademail
Filed under: Video of the Week
Gianna’s teacher uses a visual schedule app successfully in the classroom to support comprehension and reduce problem behaviors. Although she’s shared the strategy and the app with the SLP and OT, neither one consistently use the visual schedule app in their sessions with this student. Jordan’s SLP does her best to use aided language input to provide a competent model of linguistic expression using his SGD when she pushes in to provide services in the classroom. Once she’s gone, classroom staff rarely implement that strategy or create opportunities for Jordan to use the SGD at other times during the school day. Evan’s parents have made an enormous investment in learning about AAC and modeling core words at home to help their son develop stronger skills with his AAC app. They do their best to follow along with the Year of Core Vocabulary Words approach, and are understandably dismayed when the... [Read More...]
Filed under: Video of the Week
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...]
Filed under: PrAACtical Thinking
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...]
Filed under: PrAACtical Thinking