The ability to gather and store data from SGDs and AAC apps raises important issues for AAC stakeholders around issues of privacy, confidentiality, and data security. In today’s video, we turn to a webinar, moderated by ISAAC’s President-Elect Tracy Shepherd, featuring several AAC experts who discuss these issues from the perspectives of user, researcher, clinician, developer, and manufacturer. Panelists include: Russell Cross, Speech-Language Therapist (PRC-Saltillo) Melanie Fried-Oken, Ph.D. and Professor of Neurology, Biomedical Engineering and Otolaryngology (Oregon Health & Science University) Dave Hershberger, CEO (PRC-Saltillo ) Fil McIntyre, Manager and Assistive Technology Lead (TechAbility) Dr. David Niemeijer, CEO and Founder (AssistiveWare) Alyssa Hillary Zisk, Doctoral Candidate in Interdisciplinary Neuroscience (University of Rhode Island) Many thanks to all the presenters and to ISAAC for hosting this valuable session and making it widely available. Direct Link to Video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6HVP3S0r1A&ab_channel=InternationalSocietyforAugmentativeandAlternativeCommunication%28ISAAC%29
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How do you decide which AAC app or software best meets the needs of an individual with complex communication needs? We’re so pleased that longtime contributor Vicki Clarke is back with us to address this topic in a very prAACtical way. Vicki is a Georgia-based SLP who has been specializing in AAC for over 25 years. Her practice, Dynamic Therapy Associates, serves children and adults with significant communication challenges in clinical and educational settings. You can read previous posts by Vicki here. In this post, Vicki dives deep into an important aspect of AAC displays: vocabulary organization. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Finding My Words: Considerations in Language Displays and Organization In previous articles we’ve talked about how easy it is to buy into the very first communication system you learn to use with your students. Maybe you started with LAMP and you have fully embraced a core word strategy. Perhaps you were a... [Read More...]
How do you consider the cognitive demands of using an AAC system when making recommendations and planning instruction? Today, we feature a wonderful new tool developed at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). Join us as we learn about the TAT4AAC team and their efforts to create an instrument that helps us think through these complex issues. The TAT4AAC was designed by members of the REKNEW team at OHSU) in Portland, OR, USA. The team is under the direction of Melanie Fried-Oken, an SLP, AAC specialist and professor at OHSU. Melanie leads the REKNEW team. Aimee Mooney, the project team leader, is an SLP and assistant professor at OHSU. She specializes in cognitive rehabilitation. Michelle Kinsella, an OT with a specialty in vision and cognition, in another member of the team along with Deirdre McLaughlin, an SLP with a passion for AAC and young kids. Developing a New AAC... [Read More...]
There have been lots of wonderful AAC sessions at conferences in the past 12 months. Here are a handful of handouts from some of them. Effects of Embedding Core Vocabulary in Emergent Literacy Instructional Routines – Penny Hatch, Lori Geist & Karen Erickson, ISAAC 2018 The Cognitive Demands Checklist Thinking about Thinking for AAC – Melanie Fried-Oken, Aimee Mooney, & Michelle Kinsella The AAC Learning Center(s): Online Supports for Pre-service Instruction – Chris Klein & David McNaughton, ATIA 2019 Talking Early Mobility: Get Moving with AAC – Tami Altschuler, Daniella Klein, Amanda Tesoriero, & Ashley Carr Scully, ASHA 2018 Developing Communication and Access Skills for Children Who Face Severe Physical and Multiple Challenges – Linda Burkhart ATIA 2019 Did you attend an AAC session that was especially helpful? We’d love to hear about it. NOTE: Depending on the presenter and venue, these handouts may be available only for a limited... [Read More...]
It’s been a busy week out there in AAC Land! Here are are a handful of posts you may have missed. Monday – Insufficient Options: Messages to Consider Adding to the AAC Device Tuesday – AAC Link Up Wednesday – Video of the Week: AAC Explainer Thursday – PrAACtical Perspectives on Part-time AAC Use And if you have more time for browsing, you can peruse some of these links. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Adapting Books with Visual Scenes AAC and Dementia with Dr. Melanie Fried-Oken Aided Language Input During Play Addressing the 4 Most Overlooked Operational Skills for High Tech AAC Users Reducing Prompt Dependence in AAC Learners: 5 Things to Try :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
As AAC practitioners well know, children who use some form of augmentative communication need a wide array of supports in order to be successful. In this post, we share a useful tool to systematically gather information about those supports to help teams with educational planning. Developed by Drs. Charity Rowland and Melanie Fried-Oken and Ms. Sandra Steiner, The Communication Supports Inventory – Children & Youth (CSI-CY) is designed to make goal writing easier for teachers and SLPs who work with students who have AAC needs. It is a wonderful way to build collaboration and get the team pointed in the same direction. Learn more about the CSI- CY here. You can access it online or download it for a hard copy.
It was so wonderful to meet and learn from so many colleagues and families at the 2016 ISAAC Biennial Conference last week. What an amazing experience to participate in an AAC event withcolleagues from 40 countries! ISAAC 2016 really was the world’s AAC conference. There was an active Twitter thread with a running account of the activities in sessions, social events, and the exhibit hall (see tweets from #ISAAC2016 here). The opening ceremonies started off strong with Vic Valentic’s performance (using AAC) of “I’ve Got a Lot to Say,” a song written by Vivian Butch. You can learn more about their collaboration and see an earlier performance of that song here. Keynote speaker John Draper, founder of Together We Rock, then gave a funny, engaging talk that addressed the contributions of clinicians, educators, researchers, and technologists alike. I was honored to be invited to present two pre-conference sessions on Day 1... [Read More...]
US Colleagues: It’s not too late! We still need your help to tell Congress and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, to stop denying our most vulnerable disabled people their ability to communicate! The initial advocacy effort was effective in delaying the start date for implementation of the proposed changes but more needs to be done. New to these issues? Check out the post by Bill Binko here. Basically, Medicare has announced several changes to its speech generating device coverage policies that will be devastating to people with complex communication needs. To protect our clients, we believe the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the most senior official responsible for Medicare policy, must be made aware of the harmful effects of these changes and must be asked to reverse them. We must speak up now to ensure our clients also will be able to. You can call Medicare directly to... [Read More...]
We’re celebrating ASHA’s Better Speech and Hearing Month with a series of posts for SLPs who are working with people who have significant communication difficulties and aren’t currently using AAC strategies. In these posts, we hope to give clinicians a fresh look and some prAACtical ideas about using AAC with a variety of clinical populations. We’ve invited well-respected authors, researchers, and clinicians to contribute to this series. We’re proud to kick-off a new series called Fresh Look with posts on using AAC with children and adults. Watch for posts on on a variety of topics, including: Using AAC to support people with dementia by Dr. Melanie Fried-Oken AAC in General Education with Dr. Joan Bruno Supporting the friendships of children with ASD by Dr. Erinn Fincke Providing initial AAC supports to people with ALS by Lisa Bardach Language therapy with children who use AAC by Drs. Cathy Binger and Jennifer... [Read More...]
In this week’s video, Dr. Melanie Fried-Oken discusses how AAC can benefit individuals who are losing their language abilities due to Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA). She reviews the disorder, provides great examples, and clearly explains AAC strategies that can be used to support these patients. We love the skillful way in which Dr. Fried-Oken balances current research with prAACtical guidelines for goals and therapy in this helpful video.