The Southern California Augmentative and Alternative Communication Network... a support group for professional development, problem solving, leadership, mentoring, and training in the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to develop communication in non-speaking and minimally verbal individuals in the Southern California Region.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

SCAAC-N Fall Meeting Notes - 10/19/10

Julie Packer represented Prentke Romich Co. this evening as she presented materials and supports available at the AAC Language Lab website:

Concepts, teaching materials, and developmental charts are transferable between AAC systems and can be applied to all types of users.

Julie shared beautiful printed materials with the group that can be downloaded at the following links:
AAC LANGUAGE LAB - Language STAGES CHART  (Click to download)

AAC LANGUAGE LAB - Morphology STAGES CHART (Click to download)
Click here for more LANGUAGE LAB charts on Parts of Speech, Pragmatics, Sentence Types, etc.

In addition to reference materials, Julie walked the group through the FREE teaching resources that are available through the AAC LANGUAGE LAB.  Many refer directly to the symbol repertoire and sequences in PRC's Unity language system; however, they can be modified to match whatever symbol system your learners may use.

PRC-Created PowerPoint Teaching Books

View a sample of PowerPoint books, games and language activities - click here

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

SCAAC-N Summer Meeting Notes - 7/20/10

On July 20, 2010, the Southern California AAC Network held their second quarterly meeting at Villa Esperanza Services in Pasadena, CA.  To download the complete announcements and outline, click here:


6:30-6:45 Meet & Eat
6:45-7:00 Announcements
7:00-7:50 Beyond Assessment Video Roundtable
7:50-8:00 Closing thoughts
The evening's topic was a case study, presented by Gwendolyn Meier, of a 10-year old student using a Dynavox V device and System 5 Gateway 40 child language software.

Announcements included an invitation to join a related group on Facebook, Southwest AAC Community, interested in meeting others, sharing ideas events and announcements, getting to know others in the field, asking questions, and providing answers.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

SCAAC-N Spring Meeting Notes - 4/20/10

On April 20, 2010, the inaugural meeting of the Southern California AAC Network (SCAAC-N) was held at Villa Esperanza Services in Pasadena, CA.  The 24 participants discussed their involvement and interests in AAC, possible learning paths for the group, as well as topics and content for future meetings.  A quarterly meeting schedule was agreed upon.  Meeting notes follow.

Welcome to SCAAC-N
Southern California AAC Network
Spring Meeting - April 20, 2010
Hosted by DynaVox Technologies & Villa Esperanza Services
SCAAC-Network Contacts

6:30-7:00 Meet & Eat
7:00-7:40 Roundtable on needs, goals, mission
7:40-8:00 Interface with colleagues and devices

SCAAC-N Mission
  • We are a Special Interest Group (SIG) initiative of CSHA District 7. Our objective is to establish a network and support group for professional development, problem solving, and training in the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to develop communication in non-speaking individuals

Possible Learning Path for SCAAC-N: Implementation across environments

How do I get teachers, parents, nannies to value, use, and love the system??
  • Organizational chart for teachers – giving explicit direction (scripts?) for one (or more) daily classroom activities to guide educators and classroom staff to ask and/or do with each student via their device
  • Technical difficulties might be the place people get stuck, and can’t get past
  • Empowering ourselves and others giving us tools to get the educational teams on board
    • Trying to combat the likelihood that we will ever again find the device in the box, in the closet, or unable to be located. 
    • Hoping we never again hear, “Oh great! Its time for Speech. Now you can use the device.”

SCAAC-N Request of Vendors (web-based) &/or Meeting Topic

“How did they get there?” video examples of success stories and their process
  • Showing Day 1 with the device
  • Then walking though training and stages toward communicative competence
  • Website of success stories with these steps included
  • Make it personal, contact information for the treating therapist

Additional Potential Topics, Content, Activities for Future SCAAC-N Meetings

  • ASSMT:  Mary Ann Abbott & LAUSD’s AAC assessment process
    • Includes a ‘pre-interview’ packet to all teachers to cut down on assessment time
    • Does not require technology to conduct
  • Implementation
    • It’s tougher than assessment
    • Make & Take Implementation Day, AAC & literacy
    • Danberry School: SLP-run language classroom AAC with OH students
§  High School students earning credits to aid in this classroom during language time
§  Open to observation (some)

(CONT.) Additional Potential Topics…

  • Conservation of effort – tap the brain of an expert on your specific issues           
  • Case study presentation, break into groups by topic

Online Training, Skills Development in AAC
  • ($99/year)
    • Self study courses
    • Funding info
  • Vendor sites
    • Language lab - PRC
    • Implementation Toolkit –Dynavox
    • ALS
    • Web casts
CAUTION: If it’s not live you’re only allowed 4 independent study CE units per year

Staying Connected – Making the Network accessible to SLPs

  • Web X
    • Dynavox might be able to set this up
  • A controlled ListServ
    • Ventura County SELPA has a great one
    • would CSHA put one up for us?  And manage it?
  • Facebook
    • post a question
    • take a poll on topics (for large or break-out groups) for future meetings

Southern California Diagnostic Center is developing and will host an AAC certification program in the 2011-2012 school year (from Leslie Comstock)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

AAC: A Framework for Applying the Latest Technology (2/27/10)

On February 27, 2010, the California Speech-Langauge-Hearing Association (CSHA), District 7 presented the 6-hour workshop AAC: A Framework for Applying the Latest Technology hosted by Pasadena Child Development Associates.  To view flier, click here.  The agenda included:
Workshop participants were given the opportunity to join the Southern California Augmentative and Alternative Communication Network (SCAAC-N) via a voluntary, free sign-up sheet.