Tag Archive: writing

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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Keep Calm & Write On… for All Writers

September 18, 2013 by - Leave your thoughts

Keep Calm and Write ON

Just like reading, everyone needs opportunities to write.  We write to make lists, give notes, tell stories, make signs, write letters, show love, vent, remember things, and much more. All students need lots of writing prAACtice and direct instruction. Here are some (just a few) amazing assistive technology options to help writers at all levels of the writing continuum. Picture Symbol Based Clicker Sentences- For emergent writers,  students tap words in a grid to build sentences in a simple word processor. Pictures can be added to further increase comprehension of the sentences.  Available as computer software with an evaluation option to try it out free for 30 days as well as in an iOS app Abilipad– A fully customizable keyboard and notepad, with word prediction and text-to-speech. This includes setting up a picture based key board.  Check out the Abilipad website for more information about all of the possibilities. Kidspiration Maps– a visual way to mind... [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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7 Writing Apps & Activities for ALL Levels of Writers

August 16, 2013 by - 3 Comments

7 Writing Apps & Activities for ALL Writers

These are some ‘non-traditional’ but really fun apps and activities that can be used to help improve writing, choice making, & AAC skills for all levels of writers.  These apps allow you to create meaningful language experiences through the process of creating the written documents, by talking about &  printing out the finished product, as well as by using writing specific reinforcement so that the learner knows they are really a writer (“wow, you are an author”, “great writing”, “awesome using many different words”, “excellent poetry”, etc.).  Have fun and write. Type Drawing– TypeDrawing allows you to enter text or choose from a text word bank to draw lines or pictures. The text is repeated each time you begin drawing or touch and drag on the screen with your finger.  We used this to make text pictures and then sent the pictures as notes to friends,  birthday cards to a... [Read More...]

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Working with Worksheets

July 15, 2013 by - 5 Comments

Working with Worksheets

We’re not big fans of worksheets. In fact (true confession!), many years ago we actually hid a notebook full of them from a colleague who seemed to think they should play a prominent role in aphasia therapy. However, we concede that they are sometimes useful in limited quantities (‘sometimes’ being the operative word). More importantly, if teachers use them, we want our kids to be able to participate. Those who have difficulty with fine motor skills need alternate ways to manage worksheets so that  they can be as independent as possible. Summer seems like a good time to learn a few new things that will come in handy once school resumes. If you’re looking for ways to make worksheets accessible on a shoestring, check out these resources. This presentation from Lynda Hartmann  gives a good overview of accessible worksheets and provides information on a number of tools that you can use.... [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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