Out and About: Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) in the Community

AAC After Work , AAC/Modalities , Assistive Technology , Special Education , Speech Therapy , Certificate Maintenance Hours (CMH) Eligible , Introductory
This session will present ideas about the importance of practicing multi-modal communication (including AAC device) across partners and environments.  Access to the TeachersPayTeachers book by this name will be provided.  

Through examples of community outings, participants will learn about what types of activities and environments can provide meaningful practice opportunities.  Skills for communication partners as well as vocabulary ideas for AAC users will be shared.

* 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/BTtbEoN7bcwV8cg52


Financial Disclosure

The Out and About program has been supported through generous donations and collaborations with caring individuals and corporations, including TherapyOne.  The presenter is compensated hourly for therapy services provided through TherapyOne.  

The presenter does not have non-financial disclosures.

Content Disclosure

This session refers exclusively to a free resource mini book, available on www.teacherspayteachers.com, titled Out and About: AAC in the Community.

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

  1. Participants will be prepared to describe at least one personal example of idiosyncratic or symbolic social communication.
  2. Participants will list at least 3 possible outcomes from community-based meetings and interventions.
  3. Participants will describe at least 3 different communication purposes and roles of different partners and facilitators while acknowledging a full range of multi-modal communication.

Course Agenda

5 min -- Introduction

20 min -- Why Start a Community Group?

Expand Circles of Communication Partners. Sarah Blackstone (Blackstone & Berg, 2003) has developed this concept of Circles of Communication Partners:

  • First Circle: The person’s life-long communication partners
  • Second Circle: Close friends/relatives
  • Third Circle: Acquaintances
  • Fourth Circle: Paid workers
  • Fifth Circle: Unfamiliar partners

Provide Support! Groups offer support to AAC users and their families (including parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, and others).  We also provide supports to teachers, therapists, habilitation workers, and mentors. 

Who Should Take This Course?

This is an excellent multi-age activity.  We have had people who use AAC from age 4-52.  The groups welcome individuals using:

•  A range of communication devices and language systems

• Various access methods (direct selection, switch scanning, partner-assisted scanning and eye gaze)

• Mobility (both ambulatory & wheelchair users)

We have found that heterogeneity of group is a good thing, as it lets AAC users be both learners & mentors! 

20 min -- What Do We Do?

Activities. Sample activities have included: bowling, crafts (e.g., painting on pottery, making banners, scrapbooking, and using a pottery wheel), taste testing (e.g., yogurt or ice cream), attending sports events such as Diamondback game, having cookouts, and going bowling, shopping, or to restaurants.  We have also done extended weekends, camping at the zoo and at a large camping site. 

10 min -- Goals

We try to include activities from all four sets of skills that AAC users must have to be competent communicators (Light & Binger, 1998).

Linguistic Skills:  samples include working on poems, creating mad libs, and making group books.  A key focus is on partner modeling, or Aided Language Input.

Operational Skills:  students practice access methods, and are shown strategies such as changing volume and programming new words.

Social Skills:  students are supported in turntaking and learning the parts of a conversaion, from attention getting to topic setting to topic maintenance to closing.

Strategic Skills:  strategies are shared such as using speech on to help partners hear and creating notebooks to save longer conversations or speeches. 

How do we scaffold success?

§  Cheat Sheets

§  Use of Props

§  Talking for Points!

§  Advance Notice of Goals

§  Involve families, vendors and mentors whenever possible 

5 Min – Q & A (including top tips)

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