AAC stakeholders from around the US and beyond are looking forward to the ATIA 2023 Conference in Orlando this week. Those who can’t travel to Florida for this event can participate in the ATIA Virtual Conference. You can see the live-stream schedule for Feb 2-3 here. Here are some of the sessions we’re excited about. 2023 Prentke AAC Distinguished Lecture Ashley Mohesky will speak on The Intersect of Success and AAC on Friday, February 3 (11:30am-12:30pm ET). Everyone can view it live on YouTube here. Spirit Of Joy Awardees The Joy Zabala Spirit Award is awarded to speakers whose sessions have been selected as exemplifying the passion Joy brought to her work in AT and education. Several of the award winners are presenting on AAC and related topics. Lauren Enders and Shaun Pearson for AAC-48: Using Games to Foster Language Development, Connection, and Joy in AAC Learners Jessica Gormley, Maryjan Fiala, and Brittany Steinfeld for AAC-41:... [Read More...]
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As expected, the ATIA Conference in Orlando last week had a robust selection of AAC learning opportunities. Here are two of the fun finds we thought you’d like to explore. The AAC Strand Spotlight Session This panel asked four thought leaders in AAC to each identify two intervention challenges and discuss their ideas for addressing them. The speakers were from a variety of practice settings and addressed a range of implementation issues. Christopher Bugaj, AAC and AT Specialist at Loudoun County Public Schools Transitions & Turnovers: Killers of Language Learning Progression Keeping Up With The Training Demand Vicki Clarke, SLP/CEO, Dynamic Therapy Associates, Inc. Addressing Opportunity Barriers to Participation Facilitator Attitude, Knowledge, & Skill Barriers Caroline Musselwhite, Literacy & AAC Specialist Facilitating Generalization Age-Respectful and Engaging Materials/Activities for Adolescents & Teens Gail VanTatenhove, SLP/CEO, AACell, Inc. Providing Person-Speciﬁc AAC Design in an App/MAP Happy World The Aging of AAC Users... [Read More...]
Last week’s ATIA Conference in Orlando was packed with AAC energy, excitement about tools, and enthusiasm for learning ways in which professionals are supporting AAC learners at home, in school, and in the community. We’ll be sharing takeaways from that event over the next few weeks. Here are a couple of resources and handouts on access, professional development, and accessibility to get you started. The Access Learning Process (ALP) for AAC introduced a wonderful framework for supporting AAC learners who use alternative access. Power Up Your Professional Development with AT Focused Social Media Creating Inclusive Classrooms with Microsoft Accessibility Did you attend a session or learn about an AAC resource that needs to be shared? We’d love to hear about it.
The 2015 ATIA conferences was one of the strongest in recent memory, with lots of AAC presentations to choose from. As you can see, I had a blast! There was AAC in every direction, from the Town Hall Meetings, App Smackdowns, expanded poster sessions, traditional sessions, and, of course, the exhibit hall. If professional development in AAC is a priority for you, be sure to put the 2016 conference (in Orlando) on your radar for February 2-6, 2016. In the meantime, here are some of the handouts to whet your appetite. Lori Wise and Marlene Sotelo’s terrific talk on using iPads to build social engagement with people who have ASD along with their app lists here and here was one of my favorite presentations of the conference. [Note: Their handouts are hosted on the ATIA conference site and may only be available for a limited time. Grab them while you can!] Gretchen... [Read More...]
The ATIA 2015 Conference was one of the best ever, with strong presentations, a vibrant exhibit area, lots of fun social events, and great networking opportunities. There were lots of highlights, but here are a few prAACtical ‘finds’ that might interest you. Spanish version of Word Power: The language options for AAC devices and apps keeps getting better and better! I love that you can purchase the Spanish pageset/voices, then configure Word Power so that the user can toggle back and forth between English and Spanish user profiles. Once configured, your client can independently go from English to Spanish words, phrases, grammar, and voices (and vice versa). This will help our prAACtical friends who speak English in school and Spanish at home. I explored it on the Nova Chat from Saltillo but there is also a Spanish add-on to the TouchChat app. Book Bridge: We’re all looking for better ways to make... [Read More...]
In a previous post, PrAACtical Pictures, we hopefully illustrated that we had an amazing time at the ATIA 2013 Orlando conference. We laughed, learned, and loved meeting so many ‘on-line’ friends. So, of course there is a little more to share… It was great stopping by the Attainment booth and learning about a soon to be released iPad app- Community Success. Community Success has learning tools to teach about community activities (i.e., riding the bus, shopping, movie theater, etc). Learning is made accessible through video modeling, photo-based directions, talking stories, and illustrations of social behaviors. Can’t wait to get this. Everyone at the booth was great but we missed seeing John Sajdak. Also, we got to learn more about My Talk Tools. There is so much to this AAC application. Try it out with My TalkTools Mobile Lite (free), and Workspace (free 30 day trial). We watched some app demos through the My Talk Upgrades. It... [Read More...]
All we can say is Wow! ATIA 2013 Orlando was awesome! Since it is February, we will focus on things we LOVE as it relates to our ATIA experience. Here are just a few thoughts and pictures from our time in the Exhibit Hall. (Please note, this is just a small sample of the many, many things seen and learned. Our list is based on the pictures we took and the time we had in the Exhibit Hall (both limited). A comprehensive list of Exhibitors can be found at the ATIA 2013 Orlando Site under the Exhibit List. So much to see and learn! FRS Custom Solutions.- We loved meeting the FRS Team (especially since they are based in Fort Lauderdale) and learning about the CommLink ProSlate Series. Fat Cat Chat– Love the Fat Cat Chat apps for ‘small talk’ (Thanks Jane Farrall for blogging about Fat Cat Chat apps). Immediately... [Read More...]
Today’s featured video, Finding Your Passion, will brighten your day. Karanveer Singh, winner of the 2024 Edwin and Esther Prentke AAC Distinguished Lecture Award, shared thoughts on finding your passion in this witty, insightful presentation. Many thanks to PRC Saltillo for sponsoring this important award and to ATIA for livestreaming this event from their conference in Orlando and making it available for the AAC community. Our appreciation and hearty congratulations to this year’s awardee, Karanveer Singh. Enjoy! Direct Link to Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWPiwPebPEI&ab_channel=ATIA
Although assistive technology and AAC have been included in US educational policy for decades, there hasn’t been a great deal of guidance for its implementation. Recently, at the ATIA 2024 Conference in Orlando, Glenna Wright-Gallo, Assistant Secretary in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), discussed some of the most recent updates and resources. You can view that recorded session, entitled Assistive Technology and IDEA: New Resources for Schools, Practitioners and Parents, below. Many thanks to ATIA for hosting and live-streaming this important session. You can also access their most recent AT “Dear Colleague Letter“ and a technical assistance document addressing common misconceptions:(“Myths and Facts Surrounding Assistive Technology Devices and Services”). You can also explore their AT and IDEA resource page. Direct link to video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49Zxug5a7uw&ab_channel=ATIA
In memory of Christine Wright-Ott (1951-2023), we are reprising her guest posts on the importance of effective mobility strategies for young AAC users. Christine was an Occupational Therapist and consultant at The Bridge School in Hillsborough California. She authored the chapter, Mobility, in several editions of the book, Occupational Therapy for Children. Christine lectured at universities and conferences including ATIA, Closing the Gap, ISAAC, ISS, and AAC by the Bay. From Wheelchair to Walker: The Cascading Benefit of Hands-Free Mobility How We Do It: AAC Strategies & Adaptations for Students in Support Walkers, Assessment & Funding From Wheelchair to Hands-free Walker for Preschool Children with AAC Needs How We Do It: A Support Walker Mobility Program for Elementary Students with AAC Needs We are grateful to Christine for her contributions to the AAC community and the powerful legacy she leaves behind.