5 Resources for AAC Data Collection

March 15, 2012 by - 1 Comment


5 Resources for AAC Data Collection

  We’re big fans of AAC devices and apps that help with data collection. When used with appropriate attention to confidentiality issues (e.g., client consent, etc.) they can help SLPs gather data on how language is used under real-world conditions. When the data are interpreted skillfully, these are wonderful clinical resources that can help us adjust our intervention plans to accelerate learning. – Many times, however, we’re also looking for data collection tools that are separate from the AAC tool itself. – Here are some ideas for forms and tools for collecting data that help us plan better intervention. – 1. The book How Do You Know It?  How Can You Show It? Making Assistive Technology Decisions (Reed, Bowser, & Korsten, 2002) has a good overview of concepts in data collection in AT and helpful forms. You can get a PDF of that book here. 2. The blog Teaching Learners... [Read More...]

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HijAACked! AAC & Anti-Bullying with Stand Tall, Mary Lou Melon!

March 14, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts


HijAACked! AAC & Anti-Bullying with Stand Tall, Mary Lou Melon!

Stand Tall, Mary Lou Melon by Patty Lovell is a fun book that we like reading online* with kids who use AAC. Many schools have anti-bullying campaigns and read this book and others as part of their efforts to help children recognize and respond appropriately to unkind words and deeds. There are a lot of great resources for reading this book on sites like this one intended for use in general education classrooms. We decided it was time to HijAACk Mary Lou and share some ideas for using this wonderful story to build AAC and language skills. – 1. Beginning communicators could certainly contribute to the ‘read aloud’ portion of the activity with repeated lines, like “So she did.” Recording that into a single message device, an SGD, or an AAC app gives our student a terrific way to be actively engaged. 2. Students who can discriminate between two options can... [Read More...]

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Hearing the Knock

March 13, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts


Hearing the Knock

Wishes are wonderful things, seducing us with their promise and possibility. So with the luck o’ the Irish in mind, we’re sending forth a wish for something intangible, the big O: Opportunity. — Our AAC wish list for this month is all about opportunities. Opportunity. It has such a nice ring to it. Our parents and teachers tried to prepare us to recognize opportunity, and promised us that it would come knocking. – But sometimes the knock of AAC opportunity is drowned out by other things. Sometimes we just don’t hear it. We may miss the opportunity to teach a new clinician how to expand the language of a teenager learning to use a speech generating device. We may miss the chance to create the teachable moment for a child just learning to use AAC to make a comment. We might miss the opportunity to encourage a parent to give... [Read More...]

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‘Tech it Up’- 5 Visual Schedule Apps

March 12, 2012 by - 2 Comments


5 Visual Schedule Apps

We have been writing a lot about schedules.  Schedules can be created by using tools  ranging from no-tech to high tech.  Here are 5 great visual schedule apps to help with ‘teching’ up the process.  We think it is important to let you know that ALL of the app developers provide information about the rationales behind schedules and visual learning which adds to our educated AAC consumers.  One of our priorities in ‘blogging’ was to get the information about AAC systems and visual strategies out to more people with the hope that AAC systems will be provided to ALL cpeople who would need it  It is great to see app developers prioritizing this as well. **Just 2 notes:  for our own personal and business schedules we still use a combination of no-tech to high-tech options) and apps are listed in no particular order Choice Works $14.99 by BeeVisual + designed... [Read More...]

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AAC on the Go: 5 Tips for Traveling with AAC

March 10, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC on the Go: 5 Tips for Traveling with AAC

It’s Spring Break here in Florida and that makes us think of traveling. Traveling is never easy, but people who use AAC don’t let that stop them. Here are some tips for making travel easier. – 1. Prepare with a social story. There are some great ones available online, like this one from Autisable (downloadable version here) and . Books and narratives about travelling, such as this one from Kids Can Dream, can also be helpful. Keep the visual element strong by downloading travel brochures for places you will visit, looking at images together, or watching online videos of your destination. – 2. Put it on the (visual) calendar. If you have a monthly or weekly calendar, add symbols to for the trip. Look at the calendar together to talk about it, what you’ll be doing, etc. Doing this repeatedly, can ease the transition into this new territory. Consider doing... [Read More...]

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Games are More Than Fun… Gaming for ALL

March 9, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts


Games are More than Fun

  ‘Gaming’- not something we typically associate with AAC, but we know that it is often the topic of conversation for kids, teens, and even adults, therefore, it is a topic that goes with AAC.  Gaming can have a positive impact on socialization, interaction, communication, and inclusion associated with ‘gaming’.  The gaming experience can be a topic of conversation before, during, and after the actual game experience. Gaming can be added to an activity  schedule or on a choice board.  A mini-schedule can be created to teach the steps to setting up a game, playing the game, or to invite a friend to game.   Gaming is part of our pop culture (think Mario Brothers…). So we believe it should be an option if so desired. We would not be thought of as gamers.  We have liked games and at times even loved them (think Astroids & Pac-Man), however we have not... [Read More...]

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AAC and March Madness

March 8, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC and March Madness

The Ohio Speech-Language-Hearing Association and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center worked together to develop Sponsored Silence, a program in which AAC is featured at the half time of basketball games. We love this video from the original event in 2008, but the more recent ones, like this video from 2011, are wonderful, too.

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5 Great Resources for Helping Individuals with Vision and Hearing Loss

March 7, 2012 by - 2 Comments


5 Great Resources for Helping Individuals with Vision and Hearing Loss

1. National Technical Assistance Consortium for Children and Young Adults Who Are Deaf-Blind: Communication Fact Sheets. – 2. Early Interactions with Children Who are Deafblind by Deborah Gleason – 3. Learning to Communicate: Strategies for Developing Communication with Infants Whose Multiple Disabilities Include Visual Impairment and Hearing Loss by Dr. Deborah Chen, California State University, Northridge – 4. Communicating and Connecting with Learners Who Are Deafblind – Developing Communication Portfolios (Books and Videos) by New England Center Match Maker Project – 5. Tangible Symbol Systems: Making the Right to Communicate a Reality for Individuals with Severe Disabilities by Dr. Charity Rowland and Philip Schweigert –

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National Quilting Day & Employment

March 3, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts


National QUilting Day & Employment

Did you know that March 17, 2012 was National Quilting Day?  We didn’t know either until we found out about a great business called Keepsake Quilts.  Keepsake Quilts takes your old tee-shirts, those tee-shirts that may have been around for years and are more about the memories then the article of clothing and sews them into a beautiful quilt.  And if that isn’t enough to make you love them, it gets even better. This is a nonprofit business with a social mission. The  mission is to promote an environment that supports and enhances work skills, interpersonal communication and self-esteem among people who are deaf or hard of hearing.  ALl of the employees are deaf or hard of hearing they donate profits to deaf initiatives and deaf youth programs.  As we read about the employees, it was interesting to note that a favorite reason for working at Keepsake was that there... [Read More...]

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PrAActically New- Success

March 2, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts


PrAACtically New Success

The Secret to Succeeding At Anything We found this very cool photo message through  Russ Ewell on google + (re-posted from Robert Nahas) and it really sums up our learning and teaching philosophy.  Everyone can improve in their communication, behavior, and organization skills (and anything else).   These are some examples of PrAACtically New resources that exemplify the photo message: 5 Examples of Success after Plan A For Employment- Walgreens Rocks For Communication Intervention- Speaking Up Too Late For AAC Apps- 39 Free & Lite AAC Apps For Expectations & Awareness- From Service Dog to SURFice Dog! For Independent Living- hanging with 20 somethings with special needs  

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