Tag Archive: access

Video of the Week: Direct Selection Using Laser Pointers

February 23, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Video of the Week: Direct Selection Using Laser Pointers

Looking for ways to support communicators with physical challenges? Laser pointers can be one way to provide access to communication boards and the alphabet. OT Margaret Cotts shows how it works in this interaction between a healthcare professional and a client with ALS. Although today’s featured video focuses on a client with ALS, this is an access tool that could work for individuals with other motor limitations as well. Direct Link to Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0jlCq9QaM4  

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Fast FAACt Friday: Accidental Access

February 7, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Fast FAACt Friday: Accidental Access

What was the first technology that allowed teachers and SLPs to use personal computers in their work with students who had significant physical disabilities? Probably the Adaptive Firmware Card (AFC). Developer Paul Schwejda and SLP Judy McDonald discuss in this wonderful video from the AT Oral History Project at the University of Connecticut. How interesting that this wonderful tool stemmed from an accidental meeting by two forward-thinking people! Direct Link to Video: http://youtu.be/xu40fnC94Hk

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How I Do It: Marlene Cummings on Strengthening the Communication Environment

June 28, 2013 by - 1 Comment

How I Do It: Marlene Cummings on Strenthening the Communication Environment

Marlene Cummings is back to share some thoughts on creating communication-friendly environments. As an AAC consultant to the Oakland Schools, Marlene gets to support AAC implementation in a variety of classrooms with all types of learners. You can read her earlier posts here and here. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: 5 Things to Consider in the “Communication Environment” The first thing we want to ask: Is language being represented visibly? We in AAC are often known by our “stuff”.  Because we need to represent language visibly and love technology, we typically have a lot of “stuff”. I, for one, currently have a large storage unit holding 30+ years of “stuff” waiting to be distributed to all my new teams since I am no longer in the classroom. Let’s start by looking around our instructional environment. It is our intention to model the use of language being represented visibly and to provide the vocabulary and opportunities for... [Read More...]

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Fresh Look: Top 5 Switches for People with ALS by Amy Roman

May 7, 2013 by - 1 Comment

Fresh Look: Top 5 Switches for People with ALS by Amy Roman

We continue our celebration of Better Hearing and Speech Month (#BHSM) with our Fresh Look series. In this post, we are delighted to share the insights of SLP Amy Roman, whose expertise in AAC supports for people with ALS is well-known. During the past 13 years, Amy has been a member of the multidisciplinary care team at San Francisco’s Forbes Norris ALS Research and Treatment Center. The AAC Program she developed at the Norris Center was awarded Program of the Year by the California Speech and Hearing Association in 2010. Through her private practice, she also provides AAC direct services and phone/skype consultations to individuals, caregivers and therapists. In addition, Amy is the Director of the Golden West ALS Association’s AAC Lending Library. She is also the author of AlphaCore© communication software available on DynaVox speech generating devices.  Amy has presents workshops and at conferences on clinical and research topics in AAC.... [Read More...]

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A PrAACtical Look at Partner Assisted Scanning

August 12, 2012 by - 4 Comments

A PrAACtical Look at Partner Assisted Scanning

Awhile back, we listed a few strategies that seem to be under-utilized in AAC.One of those is partner assisted scanning, a strategy we love for its boundless flexibility. In this week’s video we turn to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s Aaron W. Perlman Center. Tune in for a clear description of the strategy and lots of wonderful examples. – –

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5 Adapted Play Resources for Children with Motor Impairment

July 5, 2012 by - 2 Comments

5 Adapted Play Resources for Children with Motor Impairment

Play is the work of children and a gateway to learning about the world. And so when we met a toddler who couldn’t access regular toys for play, we set out on a quest to help solve this problem. Here are some resources we’re using. – Pick out some toys: Sites like AblePlay are invaluable for objective information on which toys to consider. Toys R Us also has a special needs section of their website. How to make battery-operated toys accessible through switches: Instructable by John Schimmel and instructional document by the Alliance for Technology Access How to make battery interrupters so you can make toys switch accessible: Instructable by Gavin Phillips. How to use battery interrupters: Document by AbleNet Once you have your switch-adapted toy, you can make some minor changes to make adapted play a better overall experience Get creative: Creating play environments by Let’s Play. Great info and ideas... [Read More...]

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PrAACtical Information on Supporting Physical Access to SGDs and Mobile Devices

May 20, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

PrAACtical Information on Supporting Physical Access to SGDs and Mobile Devices

– For many people who use AAC, one of the biggest hurdles to communicating more effectively involves physically accessing their SGDs and/or mobile devices. – In this week’s video, we feature a collection of resources on this topic by SET BC. The collection has 7 complete modules, with print information, presentations, and videos. We’re linking to the series here so that you can explore any of the ones that are of interest to you. –

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Talking About Talking

January 8, 2012 by - 4 Comments

Talking About Talking

A colleague and I taught a workshop awhile back where there was an interesting sidebar conversation. A special educator was trying to convince an administrator that even though her student used a high tech speech generating device (SGD), she still needed the software to create other communication tools, like language boards and visual schedules. Having spent a great deal of money on AAC technology, the administrator was reluctant to commit additional funds for that authoring software. “She has a $5,000 device,” Sally Supervisor said. “Now you’re telling me you need special software to make things you can print out on paper?”The teacher’s point, of course, was a valid one. Children with AAC needs, like the rest of us, communicate in a variety of ways. In most cases, they need access to a variety of tools and the training to use them effectively. Just like we do.We gesture. We write with... [Read More...]

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