The World’s AAC Conference: 10 Presentation Handouts from ISAAC 2016

August 15, 2016 by - 6 Comments

The World’s AAC Conference: 10 Presentation Handouts from ISAAC 2016
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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 withAAC Posts from PrAACtical Week #32: August 2016colleagues 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 hereKeynote 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 of this 10-day event. In the morning, I was so excited to have the opportunity to present with Chris Bugaj, from the AT team at Loudoun County Public Schools and AT TipsCast, on the topic of using social media and digital technologies to maximize AAC outcomes. You can check out that handout below. I also had the opportunity to do a precon session on vocabulary intervention and was able to share information on the framework that Gloria Soto and I have been developing over the past several years.The World’s AAC Conference: 10 Presentation Handouts from ISAAC 2016

There were many wonderful sessions throughout the week and some wonderful special events. The AAC Town Hall Meeting was a forum for people who use AAC to address topics of interest via guided questions that were posed to all the participants. Speaking attendees, including researchers, clinicians, and educators, were welcomed as observers but the purpose of the event was to provide a structured opportunity for people who use AAC to discuss issues of importance.

One of my favorite events of the week was the ISAAC Outstanding Consumer Lecture, presented by author and speaker Glenda Watson Hyatt. Her talk on Finding Your Dream left us all with inspiration for our own next steps, either personally or professionally.

Many presentations featured presenters who use AAC. Accessibility features of the conference included a blender bar for those who need alternative food textures, a charging station for SGDs, emergency attendant care, and a respite room. Communication Disabilities Access Canada assisted by visiting with surrounding restaurants and businesses to help educate them about supporting customers with AAC needs. Temporary ramps were also offered to businesses that needed them to improve wheelchair access.

There was a rich offering of presentations throughout the event, and the biggest problem was deciding which ones to attend in each time slot. Several presenters provided public access to their handouts. Here are some of them for those of you who could not attend.

  1. Designing AAC Interventions and Research to Improve Outcomes by Individuals with Complex Communication Needs by Janice Light and David McNaughton 
  2. Integrating Language and Technology for Students with Multiple Disabilities by Laura Lamore and Amanda Soper 
  3. Research and Development Project Update of the AAC RERC by David Beukelman, Susan Fager, Melanie Fried-Oken, Tom Jackobs, Janice Light, and David McNaughton 
  4. AAC Practitioners in the 21st Century: Leveraging Our Efforts Through Social Media and Digital Technology by Carole Zangari and Chris Bugaj 
  5. Successful Employment of Individuals with ASD Who Use AAC by Laura Richardson, Ashley McCoy, David McNaughton, and Alaisha Sayed 
  6. Communication and Learning Strategies for Individuals with Rett Syndrome by Linda Burkhart and Gail Porter 
  7. What I’ve Learned from Those with Rett Syndrome (part of a larger panel) by Kate Ahern 
  8. Ready Set Write! Alternative Pencils and Writing for Students with the Most Significant Needs by Caroline Musselwhite and Gretchen Hanser
  9. Using Digital Media in Preservice AAC Education by Carole Zangari 
  10. What’s Up in Apple Apps? by Jane Farrall 

Please keep in mind that these links may be active for only a short period of time, so visit and view the presentations sooner rather than later if these topics are of interest to you.

Mark your calendars for July 23-26, 2018. The next ISAAC Biennial Conference will be in Gold Coast, Australia. You can keep an eye on the details of that as they develop by visiting the ISAAC Australia page.  Hope to see you there!


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This post was written by Carole Zangari


  • Kim Heier says:

    Thanks so much for sharing these great resources! What an amazing conference this was! It looks like the Rett Syndrome PPT is linked to both 7 and 8, though. Can’t access the Ready Set Write! materials.

    • Avatar photo Carole Zangari says:

      You’re very welcome, Kim! Thanks for alerting me to that problem with the duplicate links. I think it is all fixed now. 🙂

  • Thanks so much for the opportunity to present Carole! I’m still pinching myself wondering if the experience was real! I’m thinking the ship turned a few inches or the needle moved a few notches (or whatever other analogy one likes to use) to indicate the a shift happened! Thanks again! Can’t wait to check out all of these other resources! I didn’t catch them all from the #ISAAC2016 hashtag so having them here really helps!

  • Tandra Ericson says:

    As Kim mentioned, thanks so much for sharing! The Rett Syndrome PPT is still linked to the Writing with Alternative Pencils presentation.

    • Avatar photo Carole Zangari says:

      Tandra, it may have taken awhile for the site to refresh, but it seems to be working correctly from Chrome and Firefox. Sorry for the delay.

  • Loving the information on this site, you have done
    great job on the posts.

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