Tag Archive: writing

Infusing Literacy Learning Opportunities in AAC Therapies

September 7, 2013 by - 7 Comments

Infusing Literacy Learning Opportunities in AAC Therapies

Most of our conversations with SLPs about teaching literacy to individuals with AAC needs revolve around the ‘How’s.” “How can I possibly teach reading and writing? I don’t have enough time with her to teach language and communication!” “How am I going to teach reading to someone who can’t sound out words? Or writing to someone who can barely use a pencil or keyboard?” In general, SLPs WANT to teach literacy skills. They understand the importance of this skill set and how it can level the playing field for people with communication difficulties. They know that reading and writing are inherently linked to speaking and listening. They know that literacy is a powerful key that unlocks many, many doors. And yet, getting from there to the point of actually teaching clients with AAC needs to read and write is not something we do enough of. This month, we’ll look at ways... [Read More...]

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7 Writing Apps & Activities for ALL Levels of Writers

August 16, 2013 by - 3 Comments

7 Writing Apps & Activities for ALL Writers

These are some ‘non-traditional’ but really fun apps and activities that can be used to help improve writing, choice making, & AAC skills for all levels of writers.  These apps allow you to create meaningful language experiences through the process of creating the written documents, by talking about &  printing out the finished product, as well as by using writing specific reinforcement so that the learner knows they are really a writer (“wow, you are an author”, “great writing”, “awesome using many different words”, “excellent poetry”, etc.).  Have fun and write. Type Drawing– TypeDrawing allows you to enter text or choose from a text word bank to draw lines or pictures. The text is repeated each time you begin drawing or touch and drag on the screen with your finger.  We used this to make text pictures and then sent the pictures as notes to friends,  birthday cards to a... [Read More...]

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Working with Worksheets

July 15, 2013 by - 3 Comments

Working with Worksheets

We’re not big fans of worksheets. In fact (true confession!), many years ago we actually hid a notebook full of them from a colleague who seemed to think they should play a prominent role in aphasia therapy. However, we concede that they are sometimes useful in limited quantities (‘sometimes’ being the operative word). More importantly, if teachers use them, we want our kids to be able to participate. Those who have difficulty with fine motor skills need alternate ways to manage worksheets so that  they can be as independent as possible. Summer seems like a good time to learn a few new things that will come in handy once school resumes. If you’re looking for ways to make worksheets accessible on a shoestring, check out these resources. This presentation from Lynda Hartmann  gives a good overview of accessible worksheets and provides information on a number of tools that you can use.... [Read More...]

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5 Ways to Use PowerPoint in AAC Intervention

April 30, 2013 by - 2 Comments

5 Ways to Use PowerPoint in AAC Intervention

We know that there are lots of PowerPoint haters out there, but we’re not among them. While we have certainly suffered through a presentation or two in which it was used poorly, we’ve also been inspired by those who use it well. It has lots of uses beyond teaching and presentation. Here are some ideas for using it to enhance your AAC intervention. 1. Personal Dictionary: Create a dictionary with slides for the new words the individual is learning. You can record the pronunciation of the word, provide the definitions, give examples, illustrate with images, and link to external sites. 2. Switch-accessible Books: These are fun to make and positively addictive once you get started! In the AAC Literacy Camp we did a few years ago, we made lots of little books like the one shown here and printed hard copies for the kids to take home. Reading online is... [Read More...]

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Literacy, AT, & Students with Significant Disabilities

March 19, 2013 by - 5 Comments

Earlier this year, we shared some articles about supporting students who use AAC in general education settings. Although we don’t have data to back this up, our estimation is that most children who use AAC are not in inclusive classrooms. Nonetheless, they all learn literacy skills. In this post, we share an article about literacy learning in students with significant disabilities by Karen Erikson, Penny Hatch, and Sally Clendon. We love the way that it addresses a comprehensive approach to learning to read and write and how AT can be used to support the learning process. You can access that article here.   Erikson, K., Hatch, P., & Clendon, S. (2010). Literacy, assistive technology, and students with significant disabilities. Focus on Exceptional Children, 42,5, 1-17.

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14 Valentine’s Day Activities: Love, Literacy, & Learning

February 12, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

14 Valentine's Day Activities

14 Valentine’s Day Activities for Love, Literacy, & Learning  Valentine’s Day is a theme that seems to take precedent in February.  When we use this theme, we like to focus on it before, during, and after February 14th because then there is a lot of opportunity to talk about it before, during, & after the holiday.  This is like conversation which involves so much more than talking about the ‘here & now’. For the Computer: Use Heart Generators                 http://www.cryptogram.com/hearts/ http://acme.com/heartmaker/ http://www.bobarmadillo.com/sluggyv-day/ Use Word Clouds Taxedo Wordle Image Chef Practice Valentine’s Day Spelling Words Research Valentine’s Day & Write Key Fringe Vocabulary Create sentences with core words using multiple hearts Write word poems using heart generators Have students take turns telling you or another student what to write on the hearts Apps Special Valentine Day Apps First Words Valentines– Free-  learn and spell key Valentine’s Day vocabulary. Nice errorless learning... [Read More...]

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5 Things We Love for Supporting Literacy Learning by People Who Use AAC

December 10, 2012 by - 2 Comments

The joys of being able to read and write should be made available to everyone. No matter what the type or extent of disabling condition, it is now known that we can be effective in teaching real literacy skills. While not every learner gets to the same point in the journey, all augmentative communicators have the right to high expectations and quality instruction.  There are lots of wonderful literacy support programs that have emerged in the past decade. Here are five to to take a (second) look at. Bookshare: An accessible book service available without charge to US students who have disabilities that impede their ability to use print effectively. Schools and other organizations can also register. This video says, um raps, it all. Some of our favorite people with AAC needs grew up in an era where they had no legal right to attend public school or did attend... [Read More...]

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Loving Literacy Resources

October 25, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Loving Literacy Title Post

For AAC Awareness Month, we would be remiss if we did not think about literacy.  It is a form of communication and language that supports AAC use.  Sometimes literacy is difficult for our students, other times it is actually easier and it helps conversational communication and even natural speech. Either way, reading, writing, talking, and listening (understanding) are all modalities of language.  There are so many great resource lists  for supporting literacy: Jane Farrall’s Letter of the Week: Resources for Older Students, Spectronics Apps for Literacy Support, Melissa Taylor’s 24 Educational iPad Apps for Kids in Reading and Writing, and 25 Great Children’s Apps to Stimulate Literacy, Learning, & Creativity just to name a few.   We wanted to share a few additional resources for literacy with general education apps that approach reading through fun with words.  And any literacy discussion could not be complete without some seriously great literacy information, theory, and supports... [Read More...]

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5+ Sites for Free AAC-Friendly Literacy Resources

April 19, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

5+ Sites for Free AAC-Friendly Literacy Resources

Reading is one of our passions and we love to address it in our therapy not just because of its importance but also because it is so much fun. Here are some of our current favorite places to visit for resources on AAC, reading, and writing. – 1. Communication 4 All: See their literacy section for helpful resources –  http://www.communication4all.co.uk/HomePage.htm 2. The Bridge: Assessment protocol for literacy learning in people who use AAC by the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at https://www.med.unc.edu/ahs/clds/resources/early-childhood-resources-1/the-bridge-assessment 3. Handout on adapting books by Pam Harris on the AAC Institute site at http://bit.ly/HQ7oHM 4. Printable Classroom Signs and Labels for Early Years at SparkleBox: http://bit.ly/xITodP 5. Mini books, book materials, resources for alphabet learning, and other goodies at DLTK’s Educational Activities site: http://bit.ly/zJV28S 6. More fun downloads that are AAC-friendly at Let’s Book It withTech’Knowledge’y: http://bit.ly/HStHx0 – Happy reading! –

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