Tag Archive: schools

PrAACtical Resources: Developing AAC Policies for Schools

October 7, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Developing AAC Policies for Schools

As much as we appreciate spontaneity, it is sometimes true that well-conceptualized policies and procedures help things run more smoothly. Today, we head to the UK where the ACE Centre has developed a comprehensive guidebook to help schools develop good AAC policies. Obviously, the specifics will vary based on the locale, but there is much to be gained from this thoughtful approach. Take a look. https://acecentre.org.uk/resources/developing-aac-policies-schools/

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Fast Fact Friday: School-based SLPs and Students with AAC Needs

September 19, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

Fast Fact Friday: School-based SLPs and Students with AAC Needs

If you’re up for a little light reading this weekend, you might want to check out ASHA’s 2014 SLP Schools Survey Caseload Report. Among the findings: 55% of school-based SLPs regularly serve students with AAC needs 90% of them serve kids with ASD. The largest median caseload (60) was in Florida, and the smallest (35) was in New York.  ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Reference American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2014). 2014 Schools Survey report: SLP caseload characteristics. Available from www.asha.org/research/memberdata/schoolssurvey/.  

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10 References Supporting AAC Use in Inclusive Settings

January 22, 2014 by - Leave your thoughts

10 References Supporting AAC Use in Inclusive Settings

We sometimes get contacted by colleagues who are looking for references supporting the use of AAC. Here are some that are specific to inclusive settings in schools and in the community.*  Alquraini, T., & Gut, D. (2012). Critical components of successful inclusion of students with severe disabilities: Literature review. International Journal of Special Education, 27(1), 42-59. Balandin, S., & Duchan, J. (2007). Communication: Access to inclusion. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 32(4), 230-232. Batorowicz, B., Mcdougall, S., & Shepherd, T. A. (2006). AAC and community partnerships: The participation path to community inclusion. Augmentative and Alternative Communication, 22(3), 178-195. Calculator, S. (2009). Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and inclusive education for students with the most severe disabilities. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 13 (1) 93-113. Carter, M., & Maxwell, K., (1998). Promoting interaction with children using augmentative communication through peer-directed intervention. International Journal of Disability, Development, and Education 45(1) 75-96. Daugherty,... [Read More...]

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How I Do It: Get Your Students Talking with a Versatile AAC Activity by Lauren Enders, Part 1

August 29, 2013 by - 4 Comments

How I Do It: Get Your Students Talking with a Versatile AAC Activity

We are so excited to start off the new school year with a wonderfully prAACtical post by Lauren Enders. Lauren’s “How I Do It” posts have been very popular and this one is no different. Today, she shares ways to incorporate key AAC principles in engaging intervention activities and models that with high school students. ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::   LEARNING TARGETS (Samples: can be changed to meet student goals) Using core vocabulary, the student will: control the actions of others (beginning with core words like “more”, “stop”, “go”, “again”, and “different”) express his or her opinions through commenting (beginning with core words such as “like”, “don’t like”, “good”, “bad”, and “silly”) TARGET POPULATION: all ages (I have used variations of this activity successfully with students from age 3 through age 21.) TYPE OF AAC: ALL types!!  What’s crucial here is the availability of core vocabulary, not the system used.  Systems used can vary from... [Read More...]

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How I Do It: Marlene Cummings Shares an Implementation Toolbox

June 13, 2013 by - 3 Comments

Marlene Cummings Shares an Implementation Toolbox

Now that the school year is winding down, some of you have a little more time to read, process, and prepare for next year. We are really excited to share more ideas from Marlene Cummings, one of the most experienced AAC SLPs that we know. Those of you who have been following Marlene’s posts on the AAC implementation will be pleased to see the next part of the Framework for Success that she developed with the AAC Team at Oakland School District. If you missed her first and second posts, go take a peek at them when you can.  5 Things in our “Implementation Toolbox” When we begin the process of implementing AAC it is important to consider our “thinking”. We always want to approach every student, every team and every classroom with as much wisdom and respect as possible. One of my colleagues, Dr. Penny Hatch, from UNC Chapel Hill... [Read More...]

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How I Do It: A Framework for Success-Getting Started in the Exciting World of Communication and AAC

May 30, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

How I Do It: A Framework for Success-Getting Started in the Exciting World of Communication and AAC

 We couldn’t be  more excited to have a return visit from Marlene Cummings, a wonderful SLP who is currently serving as an AAC Consultant to the AAC Team at Oakland Schools. In her first post, Marlene talked about strategies for cultivating the right mindset for AAC teaching. In this post, Marlene continues sharing elements of her Framework for Success in discussing the Knowledge Toolbox, developed with the Oakland Schools AAC Team.     5 Things in Your “Knowledge Toolbox” What is already in my “knowledge toolbox” of communication, language and learning? Yes, you do have a full toolbox. You just don’t realize it. And of course there are always new and exciting things to add. You already know this stuff!! REMEMBER??? It is important to step back and think broadly about communication and what it really does. Sometimes we get caught in the details of our work and can’t see the forest through the... [Read More...]

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How We Do It: Essential TRICKs for Supporting AAC in Schools, Part 2

May 9, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Today we welcome back 3 SLPs from the Orange County Public School (OCPS) AT team, Cathy George, Marcia Sterner, and Marcia Piersall. They are part of a very active and competent AT Team that supports over 700 students with dedicated AAC devices. It is no surprise that they’ve come up with a list of  5 essential TRICKs that they count on to help them support these students and their educational teams. You can read about the first 2 TRICKS, Try It and Resources, here and download some of their terrific resources. Today, we learn about the rest of their TRICKs: Information, Can’t Live Without It, and Kick It Up A Notch. Give Me Five: Essential TRICKS, Part 2 INFORMATION about the student Student interests What systems previously tried What tasks s/he is struggling with Trial data sheet– Communicative competence organizer CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT IT: In addition to AAC devices, these... [Read More...]

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Fresh Look: AAC in the Classroom with Joan Bruno

May 2, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Fresh Look: AAC in the Classroom with Joan Bruno

We’re off to a great start for Better Hearing and Speech Month! Today’s Fresh Look post comes from one of the most experienced AAC SLPs in the United States. Joan Bruno, Ph.D., CCC-SLP has over 30 years experience working in the field of AAC.  She is currently maintains a private practice consulting to schools and private agencies and is the Augmentative Communication Specialist at the TECHConnection in Shrewsbury, NJ.  Joan has published and presented nationally and internationally on a variety of topics related to AAC assessment and intervention. Joan is the 2011-2013 President of the New Jersey Speech and Hearing Association, and a Past-President of the United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Since 1992, she has directed Camp Chatterbox, a therapy camp for children using AAC devices.  Joan is the author of the Gateway to Language and Learning© page set and the Test of Aided-Communication Symbol Performance© (TASP). In... [Read More...]

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How I Do It: Writing IEP Goals for Students Who Use AAC with Lauren Enders

April 25, 2013 by - 5 Comments

How I Do It: Writing IEP Goals for Students Who Use AAC with Lauren Enders

We’re so happy to welcome Lauren Enders back to share some more thoughts on AAC and the IEP. In her first post on this topic, Lauren addressed some frequently asked questions. Today, she provides a very valuable perspective on writing IEP goals for students who use or need AAC and some wonderful resources. Very often, I receive requests for support from teachers and speech therapists that are writing IEP goals for their students who use AAC.  When we sit down to discuss their questions, the first thing I remind them is that AAC goals are no different from any other IEP goal.  I recall a workshop I attended years ago presented by Gail VanTatenhove that helps put IEP goals for AAC into perspective.  Gail said that AAC therapy is just language therapy.  Isn’t that true? Aren’t we just teaching language?  For this student, language is simply being expressed in a... [Read More...]

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How I Do It: Cultivating an “I Can” Mindset with Marlene Cummings

March 21, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

How I Do It: Cultivating an "I Can" Mindset with Marlene Cummings

As much as we love fresh new voices in the AAC community, there is simply nothing like the voice of experience. When a program has had more than 40 years of experience providing AAC services, we listen! Today, we are honored to have Marlene Cummings, an AAC SLP from Michigan, share the collective wisdom of her team. I have found that one of the joys in my professional life is asking hard questions about my present work and then figuring out ways to address those questions. Much of my 30 + years have been spent designing and implementing programs, systems and materials to support young children with complex communication needs in the role of the teacher in these classrooms. I explored ways to design environments and develop curricular frameworks and instructional materials, which would provide students with the instruction and opportunities to become competent communicators, all from the view of... [Read More...]

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