Tag Archive: reading

Watch It Wednesday- Assistive Technology Impacts Reading & Writing!

October 2, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Watch it Wednesday: Assistive Technology Impacts Reading and Writing

Another must watch  TED Talk.  Learn how assistive technology helped Ron McCallum prove his mother wrong. He discusses how technology has progressed to improve every aspect of his reading and writing life. He advocates for full accessibility of written material for everyone in every country.

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All About Literacy: Past Posts

September 30, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

All About Literacy: Past Posts

We say goodbye to International Literacy Month.  It’s time to move on…. to International AAC Month (exciting things to come  😉 ). But, just in case you missed any of our past posts about literacy, here they are all together. Reasons to Discover & Love MeeGenius 5 Ways to Help People with AAC Needs Develop Inner Speech 5+ Sites for Free AAC Friendly Literacy Resources Making Decisions About Reading Accessibility Options Loving Literacy Resources Making Libraries Inclusive 5 Things We Love for Supporting Literacy Learning by People Who Use AAC 5 Ways to Make Page Fluffers & Spacers 14 Valentines Day Activities:m Love, Literacy, & Learning  The Joy of Reading: World Book Day 5 More Resources and Ideas for World Book Day Literacy, AT,, & Students with Significant Disabilities PrAACtically Ready to Read 7 Apps and Activities for ALL Writers Literacy For All: A Video Series by Dr. Caroline Musselwhite... [Read More...]

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Literacy Lessons for Beginning AAC Learners

September 21, 2013 by - 10 Comments

Literacy Lessons for Beginning AAC Learners

Like some of you, we are often met with skepticism when we encourage teams to work on literacy skills with individuals who are still learning the very basics of communication. Recently, we had the opportunity to begin this journey anew, and model a literacy lesson for kindergartners who have no formal communication system, are not answering yes/no questions, and do not consistently select preferred items when offered choices. Why work on literacy with students who are not routinely expressing their basic preferences? Because the longer we wait, the longer it will take to get there. Because it offers wonderful opportunities to build communication, too. Because when other people see us teaching reading and writing, it changes their perception of the student in a positive way. Because they will enjoy it. Because there are mandates for us to address the general education curriculum. Because if we set the bar high and... [Read More...]

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5 Easy Ways to Add Authentic Writing Experiences to Your AAC Therapy

September 10, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

5 Easy Ways to Add Authentic Writing Experiences to Your AAC Therapy

There is no substitute for systematic instruction in reading and writing for building specific skills. AAC learners need high-quality instruction and lots of it. Beyond that, though, there are many ways to infuse literacy practice into the regular routine in therapy and at home. Writing for authentic purposes refers to experiences that reflect the writing activities of people in their regular lives. Authentic writing builds fluency, promotes skill generalization, and helps to build one’s self-concept as a writer. Plus, it’s fun, motivating, and pretty easy to do. Here are some things we try to do to include authentic writing experiences into our AAC therapies. 1. Sign in and out of the therapy session or classroom: Every AAC learner can do this. If the traditional sign-in form then doesn’t cut it, then make up a special sheet that has the client’s name in traceable letters, a name stamp, or placing a... [Read More...]

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Infusing Literacy Learning Opportunities in AAC Therapies

September 7, 2013 by - 9 Comments

Infusing Literacy Learning Opportunities in AAC Therapies

Most of our conversations with SLPs about teaching literacy to individuals with AAC needs revolve around the ‘How’s.” “How can I possibly teach reading and writing? I don’t have enough time with her to teach language and communication!” “How am I going to teach reading to someone who can’t sound out words? Or writing to someone who can barely use a pencil or keyboard?” In general, SLPs WANT to teach literacy skills. They understand the importance of this skill set and how it can level the playing field for people with communication difficulties. They know that reading and writing are inherently linked to speaking and listening. They know that literacy is a powerful key that unlocks many, many doors. And yet, getting from there to the point of actually teaching clients with AAC needs to read and write is not something we do enough of. This month, we’ll look at ways... [Read More...]

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PrAACtically Ready to Read

July 9, 2013 by - 2 Comments

PrAActically Ready to Read

It’s summer and hot where we live (really hot!), humid (really humid)!. This weather makes it a good time for quiet, peaceful activities. Reading is high on our list. No pressure, enjoyable reading. We want ALL learners to enjoy reading. From simple single message voice output devices/apps to high-tech core language based SGDs and everywhere in between, there are lots of prAACtical opportunities for communication building, literacy learning, and just plain fun through reading. Interactive reading, reading aloud to someone, or reading to yourself can all be done in air-conditioned homes or libraries or by the pool or beach where you can cool down with a quick swim. Here are some great resources for adapted books, communication boards to go with books, and visual supports to help with reading.  Find a good book, stay cool, and enjoy: New York City Department of Education: Adapted Books  Baltimore City Schools- Book Specific Communication... [Read More...]

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5 Ways to Use PowerPoint in AAC Intervention

April 30, 2013 by - 2 Comments

5 Ways to Use PowerPoint in AAC Intervention

We know that there are lots of PowerPoint haters out there, but we’re not among them. While we have certainly suffered through a presentation or two in which it was used poorly, we’ve also been inspired by those who use it well. It has lots of uses beyond teaching and presentation. Here are some ideas for using it to enhance your AAC intervention. 1. Personal Dictionary: Create a dictionary with slides for the new words the individual is learning. You can record the pronunciation of the word, provide the definitions, give examples, illustrate with images, and link to external sites. 2. Switch-accessible Books: These are fun to make and positively addictive once you get started! In the AAC Literacy Camp we did a few years ago, we made lots of little books like the one shown here and printed hard copies for the kids to take home. Reading online is... [Read More...]

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Literacy, AT, & Students with Significant Disabilities

March 19, 2013 by - 5 Comments

Earlier this year, we shared some articles about supporting students who use AAC in general education settings. Although we don’t have data to back this up, our estimation is that most children who use AAC are not in inclusive classrooms. Nonetheless, they all learn literacy skills. In this post, we share an article about literacy learning in students with significant disabilities by Karen Erikson, Penny Hatch, and Sally Clendon. We love the way that it addresses a comprehensive approach to learning to read and write and how AT can be used to support the learning process. You can access that article here.   Erikson, K., Hatch, P., & Clendon, S. (2010). Literacy, assistive technology, and students with significant disabilities. Focus on Exceptional Children, 42,5, 1-17.

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5 Things We Love for Supporting Literacy Learning by People Who Use AAC

December 10, 2012 by - 2 Comments

The joys of being able to read and write should be made available to everyone. No matter what the type or extent of disabling condition, it is now known that we can be effective in teaching real literacy skills. While not every learner gets to the same point in the journey, all augmentative communicators have the right to high expectations and quality instruction.  There are lots of wonderful literacy support programs that have emerged in the past decade. Here are five to to take a (second) look at. Bookshare: An accessible book service available without charge to US students who have disabilities that impede their ability to use print effectively. Schools and other organizations can also register. This video says, um raps, it all. Some of our favorite people with AAC needs grew up in an era where they had no legal right to attend public school or did attend... [Read More...]

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