Fall seems to be a prime time for training classroom staff on AAC tools and strategies. These mini communication boards were a topic of conversation at a recent training so today we’re sharing an editable PowerPoint file for you to download. The slides are set to a custom size so when you print them, they’ll fit inside a badge holder. Plenty of AAC options for you to choose from and you can resize the image to meet your needs. You can download the mini communication board file here. Enjoy!
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It’s another Make It Monday, our series on preparing core vocabulary materials for use with AAC learners. When we left off last week, we selected or created manual communication boards (MCBs) with a starter set of core words. Today, we pick up that thread by adding more words. If you are working with teams that are new to AAC implementation, have a difficult time with change, or are showing resistance to this “whole AAC thing,” you might want to start off slowly and use just the main communication board for a few weeks to build everyone’s confidence. You can add more words once they are implementing it fairly well. The way I see it: Strong implementation of a basic core board is better than weak implementation of a more robust board. It doesn’t take very long, though, to realize that as versatile as our core word MCB is, there simply... [Read More...]
Welcome to Make It Monday, a series in which we hope to inspire your team to create communication boards and instructional materials for students who need or already use core vocabulary. In the first post, Getting Ready for a Core Vocabulary Journey, we talked about getting set up to make materials for expressive and receptive language use. Today, we get into making manual communication boards (MCBs). About Manual Communication Boards The term manual communication board refers to a ‘no-tech’ AAC support that students can use to express themselves. Typically printed on paper and laminated, most MCBs have grids of words organized by part of speech (e.g., verbs in one area, adjectives in another). MCBs that are designed for use in a particular activity, such as doing an art project or participating in Circle Time, are called activity-based communication displays, or ABCDs. ABCDs were very popular in the early days of... [Read More...]
Looking for book-specific vocabulary that you can highlight, teach, and/or elicit when reading? The Assistive Technology Team at Baltimore City Public Schools has a site with materials that you may find helpful. They’ve created topical communication boards for over 800 books, both fiction and non-fiction, that can be accessed by anyone with the Boardmaker program. Their resources include activity-based communication boards with 9, 20, and 56 locations for the books, and a set of comprehension questions. You can access their Adapted Books site here.
Because sometimes you need something quick, simple, and free. 1. Quick Pics from the Patrick Ecker AAC site 2. ConnectAbility’s Visual Engine 3. Picto4Me: An app for your computer that you can install to Chrome 4. PhotoSYMS program 5. Aragonese Portal of AAC: Over 14,500 symbols that you can download and use
To continue on with the theme of the month, here are some app (and computer based) resources for easily creating your own communication boards: Pogo Boards Pogo Boards is a communication board creator for both the computer and the iOS platform. You can make traditional grid-based communication boards and a variety of other visual supports. Pogo Boards also has a variety of pre-made boards that users share. Price: – Free trial period with premium account, then Free basic account, Subscription price for ongoing premium account Symbly Go & Symbly Symbly is a computer based communication board creator. Communication boards are super easy to create, share, and print out. Symbly Go is an iOS platform app that allows you to view your communication boards (and other visual supports) on your iPad. Your communication boards will automatically be downloaded to your iPad (even when there’s no Internet connection available). There is text to speech capability if... [Read More...]
Gail Van Tatenhove expertly demonstrates teaching with a Pixon communication board. In this video, she introduces the communication board and implements a variety of best practice AAC teaching strategies. Can you spot them?
We have been thinking about communication boards this month. There are a lot of pre-made options available. You just have to check and make sure the pre-made options meet the individual needs of your learners. If not, they are often a good place to start while taking the time to modify and develop specific individual communication boards. Check out these 5 great resources for pre-made communication boards: Speaking of Speech- Play-Based Communication Boards Communication Board for Lunch AAC Topic Setting Conversation Boards Child’s Play Communication Boards Show & Tell Free AAC: Communication Boards for Adults Communication Boards for Hospital Stays Bedside Communication Board Alphabet Board & Yes/No Accident and Emergency Communication Board (Also many children AAC Communication Boards available) Boardmaker Share Walk Communication Board Rehab Communication Board Doll/Play Communication Board FTLU Golf Communication Board (Many more communication boards, search by topic) Autism Teaching Strategies Talk to Sister Talk to Dad... [Read More...]
When we think of AAC and communication boards or displays, we often think of comprehensive core and fringe words. We think of a board that will represent the most possible communication functions, vocabulary, and generative language. However, there are many other ways to create and use communication boards. There are many other ways because there are many reasons we communicate and sometimes it is best to create a communication board that focuses on a specific communication need. AAC is not one thing but a system of communication supports, and for most AAC users, there should be a multitude of communication options that will aid in robust communication and language needs. All AAC users should have a comprehensive individual communication display whether low tech (communication book) or high-tech (AAC device or App). But…. many AAC users will also benefit from communication boards that support a specific communication purpose. The reason for... [Read More...]
We love AAC technology and are deeply grateful for the options that are available to people with significant communication difficulties. We’re strong supporters of voice output systems and the autonomy they give to the children and adults with whom we work. On the other hand, we have great respect and much fondness for the “no tech” communication aids and visual supports. As a student clinician, I made my first conversation book for Sherri, a young lady who had learned Bliss at school but had no communication materials in the institution where she was living. In my days as a clinical fellow, I got ratted out by Davey, a client who used his 100-location Bliss board to tell the supervisor that I gave out seconds on coffee even though the rule was one cup per person. (I knew I should never have taught him interjections!) There’s no doubt – communication boards... [Read More...]