Given the advancements in and increased access to tablet technology, a wide variety of AAC solutions are available. Although hardware and software are ever changing, the need for quality therapeutic support remains constant. This interactive session will focus on essential therapeutic supports to promote language acquisition and effective communication with AAC.  With use of the Language Monitor built into many devices, we developed a full therapeutic plan for a classroom including the teacher, speech therapist, classroom assistants as well as parents and friends at school.  It turned out that many of the verbal students in the classroom benefited from the implementation methods that were put in place and increased their literacy and writing skills.

In thinking about the practice of AAC, it is common to consider hardware, software and support. Each area requires special attention in order to foster effective and efficient communication via AAC. Appropriate hardware decisions need to be made to meet the access needs of the client. Similarly, communication software needs to be equally scrutinized to ensure it will meet the linguistic needs of the individual, not only for today, but for many years to come. It should be grounded in what we know about vocabulary and language development. Last, but certainly not least, the support of the AAC system needs to be planned and executed to help the individual using AAC find success. AAC support includes training in the operations as well as language structure of the AAC system, clearly defined goals, an intervention plan, therapy and therapeutic supports to fulfill the intervention plan and reach goals, professional development to advance knowledge related to the practice of AAC and tools to document progress. This talk will focus on these supports. The case study of classroom at Sweetwater Elementary School will be discussed.   We will look at the supports in both the school and home environment, what techniques were implemented and how these were determined based on her LAM data from all AAC devices.  The discussion will center on how these services can be utilized to promote best practice when supporting an AAC system.

Drager, Light and McNaughton, 2010, purpose 8 areas of considerable developmental risk for those with complex communication needs: A. functional communication skills, B. speech development, C. language development, D. cognitive/conceptual development, E. literacy development, F. social participation, G. access to education, and H. overall quality of life. Well informed AAC supports and intervention may promote development in these areas for many individuals. Additionally, Binger and Walsh, 2011, write, “…recent publications of the writings of people who use AAC clearly indicate that mastery of grammar is possible for some individuals. (e.g. Fried-Oken and Bersani, 2000) However, there is no doubt that attaining grammar is a struggle for many individuals who require AAC.” Given this, individuals using AAC can benefit from language therapy. With language therapy, individuals can learn new vocabulary, morphology and syntax.

Language learning allows individuals to be more clear, precise and/or complex when communicating. Providing AAC language intervention requires training in the language organization of the AAC system, therapeutic techniques and supports as well as progress monitoring. 
Strategies will be provided on how the entire team worked on specific goals based on the developmental stages of language development.  Data was taken directly from student’s devices to determine whether or not there was carry through on the skills that were introduced. This information paired with observation, input from communication partners, social/geographical context and other communication modalities were used to help determine current level of functioning as well as provide insight into where to go next.
 A social circle was also formed with the intent for her peers to also play a part in reaching some of the educational and social goals. 

* This course will not be automatically reported to the ASHA Registry.

* This course is an acceptable professional development activity for
   Certificate Maintenance Hours

ASHA Certificate Maintenance information:

After completing this webinar:
1. Return and take the Quiz attached to this course - 80% accuracy required.
2. Complete the Course Evaluation: https://goo.gl/forms/mU64GQuIoJqngEMz2


Financial Disclosure

The presenter is an employee owner of PRC. Presenter will receive a monetary compensation from YGU for this course.

The presenter does not have any non-financial disclosures related to this presentation.


Content Disclosure

This course will focus exclusively on information related to the PRC AAC Language Lab and will not include information on other similar or related products. The AAC Language Lab is available via subscription pricing.

After completing this course, the student will be able to...

  1. Identify the benefits of effective team collaboration and communication to directly support success in using assistive technology in the classroom combined with flexible learning and UDL principals. team collaboration and communication to directly support success in using assistive technology in the classroom combined with flexible learning and UDL principals.
  2. Identify the benefits of effective team collaboration and communication to directly support success in using assistive technology in the classroom combined with flexible learning and UDL principals. Summarize key concepts in organizing and facilitating team collaboration (qualitative summary) and use of Language Acquisition Monitor (LAM) (qualitative concepts) to best inform teams and provide a foundation for success for students who use augmentative communication and/or assistive technology.

Course Agenda

5 min - Introduction
10 min - how to determine current language level
30 min - implementation strategies and how to scaffold for different learner levels
10 min - resources available
5 min - closing and questions

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