How We Do It: Essential TRICKs for Supporting AAC in Schools, Part 1

February 28, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

How We Do It: Essential TRICKs for Supporting AAC in Schools, Part 1
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When I first moved to Florida almost 20 years ago, there was a plethora of AAC trainings for special educators, school-based SLPs, and other related service personnel. The AAC professionals in the Orange County area could always be counted on for top-notch information and engaging presentations that kept all of us learning and growing. Florida since moved into a different model for professional development in AT and I am still mourning the loss of access to this fabulous team. We are so lucky that they agreed to share some of their ‘Go – To’ resources with us in this post. The OCPS AT Team has 5 TRICKS to share with us and all of them are very prAACtical. In this post, they share the first two (stay tuned for the other 3 TRICKS in a future post). Get ready to check out their prAACtical ideas and download some of their tried-and-true materials!

Give Me Five: Essential TRICKS, Part 1How We Do It: Essential TRICKs for Supporting AAC in Schools, Part 1

Cathy George, Marcia Sterner, and Marcia Piersall are the 3 of 6 SLPs on the Orange County Public School (OCPS) AT team. OCPS has an ESE population of over 23,000 students. While many of the students use available classroom technology, we support approximately 700 students who have dedicated AAC devices with technical assistance, follow up, and professional development. Because we do not spend much time at our desks, we have compiled a bag of TRICKs, the 5 essentials that we count on when we are on the go.

  1. TRY IT! Structured implementation for voice output
    1. Word hunt, exploration with a purpose
    2. Carrier phrases using core and fringe
    3. Mad libs
    4. Pixon chart for introducing new core vocabulary
    5. Access to curriculum and daily routine vocabulary (See our small trifold-Boardmaker share)
  2. RESOURCES: Shared via thumb drive, Dropbox, or website
    1. Visual support wikispaces
    2. Device Quick Starts (our own and manufacturer)
    3. Dynamic display screen shots
    4. Boardmaker files from our website and from our OCPS AT Team Boardmaker Share group 
    5. “Lifesaver” cards: These are half page booklets of quickstart and reference information
    6. Goal writing
      1. Dynamic display communicative competence
      2. Writing goals for AAC
    7. Curriculum visual supports developed by our team for:
      1. ELSB, PCI Reading, Story Grammar Marker – in our OCPS AT Team Boardmaker Share group
      2. Beyond Circle Time, Equals Math, Read-it-Again ( See our Wiki)
      3. News2you, Unique Learning: (Given a device decision toss-up, we tend to recommend dedicated AAC devices that support those classroom tools/curricula used throughout our district.)

How We Do It: Essential TRICKs for Supporting AAC in Schools, Part 1


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This post was written by Carole Zangari

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