How We Do It: Navigating Successful Post-Secondary Transitions in a Virtual World

March 22, 2021 by - Leave your thoughts


How We Do It: Navigating Successful Post-Secondary Transitions in a Virtual World

AAC professionals can provide a great deal of support to help students prepare for post-school life. Today, guest authors Meredith Gohsman, Jamie Lawson, Heather Patton, and Melanie Melton team up to share their thoughts on helping students who use AAC move successfully toward this transition. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Speech-language pathologists, educators, and other AAC stakeholders all share responsibility in preparing students for successful post-secondary transition. The need to explicitly address post-secondary transition is well-established. Despite benefits of employment for both the employer and employee (McNaughton et al., 2002; McNaughton et al., 2003), individuals using AAC are unemployed at a staggering rate. For individuals using AAC, communication remains a vital component in the workplace (Bryen et al., 2007). Communication interactions and skills are associated with income, as well as job options (Mank et al., 1997; McNaughton & Bryen, 2007; McNaughton & Richardson, 2013). This includes all 5 communicative competencies: Linguistic Competence: Mastery of... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #12: March 2021

March 21, 2021 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #12: March 2021

Happy Sunday, AAC friends. Here are some posts from our prAACtical week. Monday – TELL ME About It: AAC Learning with ‘The Skin You Live In’! Tuesday – AAC Link Up Wednesday – Video of the Week: Language Learning AACtivities Thursday – Readiness: 7 Days of AACtion ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Looking for some AAC materials? We pulled out a few from the AAC Toolbox just for you. Spelling Boards & FlipBook– Letter boards (alpha & QWERTY) used at Camp Alec; Created by Tina Moreno Visual Supports Wiki Resources from OCPS – See also How We Do It: Essential TRICKs for Supporting AAC in Schools, Part 1 How I Communicate – Template for a Gesture Dictionary   Communicare Language Board Templates – Communication board templates for the post “How We Do It: Using Language Boards to Support AAC Use”  Colorful Connections – Templates for teaching modified Fitzgerald Key and Goossens’, Crain, & Elder color-coding schemas

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Readiness: 7 Days of AACtion

March 18, 2021 by - Leave your thoughts


Readiness: 7 Days to Take AACtion

More frequent flooding, longer and deadlier fire seasons, increasingly intense hurricanes and other storms, the threat of earthquakes and tsunamis, powerful tornadoes. We’ve all seen reports that severe weather events are on the rise and too many have had personal experience with this. But, for many of us, the idea of preparing for the possibility of a major event that would disrupt access to AAC supports is ‘the good idea that we never get around to implementing.’  How well would the AAC users in your life cope if they had to quickly evacuate to a shelter or even shelter in place without power or water for an extended period of time? Would they have a way to communicate with unfamiliar partners if they became separated from caregivers? Would they have their essentials, such as medication, g-tube or catheter supplies, and adaptive feeding equipment?  Would they be able to access back-ups... [Read More...]

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TELL ME About It: AAC Learning with ‘The Skin You Live In’!

March 15, 2021 by - Leave your thoughts


TELL ME About It: AAC Learning with ‘The Skin You Live In’!

We are back with lots of great core vocabulary resources in another edition in the TELL ME About It series. In today’s post, AAC SLPs Maggie Judson and Jeanna Antrim share ideas for language learning with the book ‘The Skin You Live In.’ Maggie and Jeanna are speech-language pathologists who work in the Assistive Technology Department for the Belleville Area Special Services Cooperative (BASSC) in southern Illinois. They are AT/AAC facilitators and provide evaluations, direct therapy, consultations, and trainings with school teams. Check out the video read-alouds using 3 different AAC apps, and their ideas for classroom activities, e-learning, supporting AAC learning at home, and more. Also, don’t miss their tips for dealing with communication breakdowns. To read more about how they prepare for a TELL ME week and see resources that are based on other books take a look at their previous posts in the TELL ME About It... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #11: March 2021

March 14, 2021 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #11: March 2021

Happy Sunday, AAC friends. We have a handful of AAC posts for you. Monday – AAC in Secondary School: Using Surveys to Support Language Learning Tuesday – AAC Link Up Wednesday – Video of the Week: AAC Modeling at Home Thursday – Repetition & Perseveration on AAC Devices: 5 Things to Try ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Stick around for a bit more if you can. Here are some posts that may be of interest. Let’s Go Outside! 5 PrAACtical Ideas At the Very Beginning: Working with Pre-Intentional Communicators Sometimes I Feel Sunny AAC Access for Individuals with Significant Motor Limitations Through Partner Assisted Scanning Supporting AAC Learners in Emergent Writing: 5 Helpful Resources

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Repetition & Perseveration on AAC Devices: 5 Things to Try

March 11, 2021 by - 3 Comments


Repetition & Perseveration on AAC Devices: 5 Things to Try

It’s not unusual for people who are learning to use AAC to repeat themselves, something we’ve written about before. While it’s not usually a problem, there are times when this is less than desirable. Here are a few things to think about as you determine how to proceed. Look for the meaning. There’s almost always a reason why people repeat things in their AAC systems. We have to do some sleuthing to figure it out, but it’s worth the effort. One memorable example of this was from Candace, who kept navigating away from what I had planned for us to talk about and repeating things about camp. Initially, I didn’t think much of it, but when she persisted, I did some digging and eventually found out that something pretty scary happened to her there. Those repetitions were probably the best way she could think of to engage me in a... [Read More...]

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AAC in Secondary School: Using Surveys to Support Language Learning

March 8, 2021 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC in Secondary School: Using Surveys to Support Language Learning

It’s a great day to explore ways to support AAC use, and today AAC SLP Ashley Larisey joins us with some activity suggestions and lots of implementation tips.  Ashley is an SLP at Community High School District 218 in Oak Lawn, Illinois. She is also an Adjunct Clinical Supervisor and Instructor at Saint Xavier University. This post, part of the AAC in Secondary School series, focuses on the use of language experience surveys with students who are learning to use AAC. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Surveys Surveys can be used within almost any classroom activity to provide students with opportunities to communicate with both familiar and non-familiar listeners. Questions that are used for the survey can be used to gather more information about a topic that guides decision-making. Surveys can be embedded into academic, social, vocational, and community-based instruction. Take a look at some examples of how to use surveys in your classroom... [Read More...]

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AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #10: March 2021

March 7, 2021 by - Leave your thoughts


AAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #10: March 2021

Happy Sunday, AAC friends. Here are some posts that you may have missed. Monday – A PrAACtical March: Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary Words Tuesday – AAC Link Up Wednesday – Video of the Week: Feature Matching in AAC Thursday – School-based SLPs: Confidence in AAC Assessment Friday – PráctiCAAmente Conectados Con Links – Marzo 2021 :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Still in the mood for some more AAC? Here are a handful of previous posts to explore. Video of the Week: On Using Symbols with Beginning Communicators Video of the Week: Object Symbols and Core Vocabulary A PrAACtical Look at Getting Started with AAC Symbols Fast FAACt Friday: On Symbols and Reading Core Vocabulary: Making Sense of Symbols

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School-based SLPs: Confidence in AAC Assessment

March 4, 2021 by - 1 Comment


School-based SLPs: Confidence in AAC Assessment

Many practicing SLPs had limited opportunities to learn about the practice of AAC during their graduate studies and even those who did probably had insufficient training and mentorship in doing AAC assessments. In this post, guest author Dr. Eric Sanders, Assistant Professor at Moravian College, discusses his research on how school-based SLPs feel about evaluating students who need AAC devices.     School-based SLPs: Confidence in AAC Assessment As a former school-based SLP AAC specialist and current researcher, one of the things that I am interested in is trying to determine ways to better understand how services are provided to students who require AAC in schools in order to figure out ways to ultimately improve those services. One of the areas that has received little research interest in school-based AAC services is assessment and feature matching. There are a few likely reasons for this. AAC assessment can be very complicated,... [Read More...]

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A PrAACtical March: Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary Words

March 1, 2021 by - 1 Comment


A PrAACtical March: Resources for A Year of Core Vocabulary Words

Do the AAC users in your life use only a fraction of the core words in their SGD, AAC app, or communication board? One way to help them move forward is to make a concerted effort to use, highlight, and provide additional teaching on a variety of words. It’s hard to do this without getting overwhelmed, so find a strategy that works for you.  A few years ago, we decided to approach this by focusing on 12-16 core words each month. (If this is too much for the teams with whom you work, that’s not a problem. Just cut it back to 4-6 words/month.) Each month, we can highlight those words in our conversation (aided language input), direct intervention, and home programming activities with AAC learners. The repeated experiences with those 12-16 (or 4-6) words help our AAC learners develop new skills, and keeps the team focused on the same destination. ... [Read More...]

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