Looking to create a sustainable AAC program in your school? Today, we learn about the way one school district in Illinois created a core vocabulary initiative that has been up and running for almost a decade. Kelly Key, the Assistive Technology (AT) Coordinator for Barrington School District 220 serves as our tour guide. Kelly is passionate about giving students a voice through core vocabulary and empowering others to support students. She has been in the field for over 22 years as a special education teacher, an administrator, and AT Coordinator. Kelly presents at local, state, and national conferences and colleges on various AT topics including core vocabulary and AAC implementation. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: How We Do It: Getting to the CORE of Communication (Part 1) Rolling Out a Core Vocabulary Initiative- How this District has been going strong for a decade! The Importance of Using Core Vocabulary As we all know, individuals with complex... [Read More...]
Tag Archive: schools
What are some of the ‘big ideas’ that we should have in mind as we approach the process of selecting AAC supports for an individual student? There is much to consider during this process, as SLP and AT Specialist Chris Bugaj notes in today’s featured presentation. Thank you to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s TTAC Program for making the archived sessions from their TechKnowledgy Conferences available to all. Click here for the handout for this session. Note: You may need to create a free account in order to view this video. Also, you can check out their upcoming TechKnowledgy Conference here.
Filed under: Video of the Week
Last month, CoughDrop held the 2018 AAC in the Cloud conference, offering 3 tracks of presentations and online discussions with the presenters. I was thrilled to find this ‘meaty’ session by Amy Goldman, Technical Assistance Specialist and AAC SLP, at the National AT Act Technical Assistance and Training Center. Amy is a tireless advocate for AAC and has shared some of her work here in the area of emergency preparedness and on the activities of the NJC. In this video, she gives us a solid overview of the IEP as it relates to AAC and AT. There’s something to learn even if you’ve already done a lot of work around the topic of AAC and the IEP. Many thanks to CoughDrop for putting on another wonderful, online conference and offering it to the AAC community without charge, and to Amy for sharing such valuable information. Enjoy! Direct Link to video... [Read More...]
Filed under: Video of the Week
Looking to improve the AAC implementation practices in your school? Today, we hear from Kelly Key, the Assistive Technology Coordinator for Barrington School District in Illinois, who discusses the ways in which their schools boosted AAC use by focusing on core vocabulary. Many thanks to Kelly and the Kansas Technical Assistance Network (TASN) for offering this presentation. You can learn more about TASN here. Direct Link to Video – https://www.ksdetasn.org/resources/1628
Filed under: Video of the Week
Recent events, such as the horrific mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, have led us all to re-examine policies and procedures that impact school safety. Throughout the country, school communities are re-evaluating and fine-tuning their processes for keeping students and staff safe in the unlikely event of violent acts, such as bomb threats and active shooters. It seems surreal that we have to think about and plan for this, but that is our reality. We look at school safety drills for Code Red and lockdowns with a greater degree of importance and a heightened level of urgency. Our students with AAC needs are among the most vulnerable in any emergency situation and this is no different. Our students may have difficulty understanding what is happening in a drill or its implications. They may have difficulty moving quickly to get to a safe space or staying quiet once they get there.... [Read More...]
We’re so pleased to discover a new resource created by Talking Mats through a partnership with Scotland’s National Health Service Education. This guide, Promoting Inclusion and Participation A holistic approach to working with children and young people who use AAC, has lots of useful information, embedded video clips, discussion questions, and more. You can download the book here. (Note: It is a large file that takes awhile to download.) Kudos to the wonderful team at Talking Mats for their fine work on this project, and to NHS Education Scotland for making it available on their website!
Armando’s parents were so disappointed when they inquired about AAC supports for their son during a recent visit to his classroom. “We don’t ‘do’ AAC,” they were told. “We’d love to, but we just don’t have the resources.” When Mia’s family moved to a new school district, they were expecting her to be able to continue using the Minspeak-based device that Mia had been learning to use in her previous school. Instead, they were told that this school uses ‘other’ kinds of AAC and that Mia would be provided with one of the AAC apps used by some of her new classmates. After all the time and effort of an AAC evaluation, and then struggling to learn the basics when Mia first got her device, it seemed unreasonable to start over with a new AAC system. But, Mia’s parents were told, ‘once she gets used to it, she’ll be able to... [Read More...]
Looking for information about how to incorporate AT into a student’s IEP? Today, we share a helpful guide, Assistive Technology and the IEP. Originally produced by the Family Center on Technology and Disability, this booklet has been republished by the Center on Technology and Disability. It provides a good overview of some of the important issues and is a great resource to share with families of students who use AAC. Click on the image below to review this guidebook.
What better way to start the day than to see how AAC Awareness Month is being celebrated in a school system?! Today, pediatric SLP Elisa Parker tells us how they do it in the school district where she works. For the past 20 years, Elisa has served young children in the Park Hill School District in Kansas City, Missouri. Her passion for AAC and children with autism led to her becoming an Autism Coach and Assistive Technology Facilitator. She has been an Autism Coach for the Gerner Family Early Education Center for 7 years and the Assistive Technology Facilitator for 3 years. Elisa consults with and provides AAC training for teachers and support staff of young students who use AAC and has also coached teams at the K-12 level. ============================ Celebrating October – AAC Awareness Month There are so many hardworking staff members I work with who implement AAC in their classrooms... [Read More...]
Professionals who are involved in the selection of AAC and other AT are quite familiar with the concept of determining what features are needed and then selecting tools that have those features to sample. The feature matching process has been the gold standard for AAC device selection , though many practictioners report that its implementation may not be robust. Determining exactly which features an individual might need in their AAC or other AT is a critical part of this process, and one with which many teams struggle. In today’s post, we highlight an online resource designed to make this process easier for school-based teams. The Student Inventory for Technology Supports (SIFTS) is a free, web-based survey tool that helps teams match the needs and abilities of a student to specific AT features. It is not a comprehensive assessment tool but provides guidance to help teams in the process of AAC... [Read More...]