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, August 31, 2011

AAC Workshop in Whittier, CA, Sept 24 ($70)

WAPADH presents" Working Toward Independent [AAC] Communication"
with the stars of the EXCELLENT film Wretches and Jabberers

Click here to view the flyer webpage

Sunday, August 28, 2011

RJ Cooper 1/2 off SALE (thru Oct 1)

Half-price sale on selected items, until Oct. 1:

1) Laptop Keyboard Covers at , cover the keyboard when you're using a switch or touchscreen with your laptop.
2) Thunder-RJ at , my inexpensive, and portable, screenreader for blind persons.
3) Flopper-Stopper , my head 'helper' for head 'floppers'.
4) ChinCheeka at , for head control of 2 switches.
5) Switch-adapted Guitar Hero guitars at .
6) Switch-Poser at , for holding switch, game controller, DS, or other small device.
7) Scan-5 at and all the remotes associated with it. This is my auditory scanning EADL/ECU for control over 5 functions of selected remotes/devices.
8) Beeper Box at , used for testing switches or as a call buzzer.
9) EADL Package at , A PC-based full EADL/ECU package for control of entertainment devices and optional X10/Insteon real-world modules. (does not include the PC)
10) Talk-Aid at , for 'low talkers', individuals that can talk, but are soft spoken.
11) WakerShaker at , the ultimate, effective, and extremely low cost switch-adapted cause/effect device.

Find them at

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Assistive Technology Webinar - Sept 8

Success in the General Curriculum: What It Takes  (A follow-up AT Strand from the 2011 Alabama MEGA Conference)

Thursday, Sept 8, 2011
11:30am to 1:00pm

Ben Satterfield, EdD and Pat Satterfield, MA CE
CREATE, the Center for Research & Expansion of Assistive Technology Access

Our diverse classrooms demand that we are ready to meet many varied ability levels and learning styles.  By applying the principles of Universal Design for Learning, using teaching techniques that work for all students, and maximizing co-teaching strategies, teachers can decrease the need for specific accommodations. Educators also need apply their knowledge of specific strategies that are helpful to students with disabilities such as using graphic organizers, previewing vocabulary, and providing multiple ways to complete classroom tasks.  The explosion of Accessible Instructional Materials and wider acceptance of technology tools for reading and writing support will also help overcome the barriers to learning in the typical classroom.  Free Internet resources will be shared. The principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) can and will be applied in other settings than the K-12 classroom. Counselors & Engineers will find they may invest more resources and time on other higher order rehab services that individual clients require in order to be successful.

  • CEUs - Visit the AAC Institute for CEU Info
  • CRCs - Credits have been requested (If you are requesting CRCs, please email with your name, organization, city, state and corresponding email address.)
For more information, please contact Liz Persaud – or visit

1-day DIR/Floortime Conference, 10/15/11, Burbank, CA ($100)

When:  Saturday, October 15, 2011 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM (Pacific Time). 
Where: Los Angeles Marriott: Burbank Airport, 2500 North Hollywood Way Burbank, California 91505 United States. 
Phone: 626-793-7350 x219
Course Description
DIR® is the original parent-mediated intervention for young children with special needs. This conference will examine the success of the DIR®/Floortime approach to intervention. Speakers will shed light on their experience with DIR®/Floortime in diverse settings, including the home, clinic and educational setting. There will be an opportunity to explore the many DIR®/Floortime services available in California. This conference will be of interest to parents, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, dietitians, mental health professionals, registered nurses, educators, early interventionists, and any professionals involved in the care of children with special needs. This conference is sponsored by the DIR®/Floortime Coalition of California, the Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders, and Pasadena Child Development Associates.

Course Objectives

Following this course, participants will be able to:
  1. Describe the three components of the DIR®/Floortime approach
  2. Identify the goals and outcomes of a DIR®/Floortime Program
  3. Explain how DIR®/Floortime is used for infants, children and young adults of all abilities
  4. Explain how affect-based (emotional) interactions and relationships are the core of the DIR®/Floortime approach
  5. Describe how the DIR®/Floortime approach builds capacities for social interaction, language and communication, and higher-level thinking
  6. Identify how DIR® programs are used in the home, community clinic, and school setting
  7. Access research which supports the DIR®/Floortime approach


®/Floortime: The Heart and Soul of Supporting Children with Special Needs and Their Families
Barbara Kalmanson, PhD
Licensed Psychologist& Special Educator, Academic Dean, ICDL Graduate School

Young Adult Panel
Young adults with developmental challenges will speak about their experiences growing up and where they are today.

The P.L.A.Y. Project’s Findings: Research and Evidence Supporting DIR
Richard Solomon, MD
Medical Director of the P.L.A.Y. Project at the Ann Arbor Center for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

12-1:30pm, Lunch (on your own)

1:30-2:30pm, Session 1
® Model: A School-based Approach
Kelly Ettinger
, M.A. Ed.; Keri Allen, MOTR/L; Sara Chapman M.A.
The Creekside School, San Jose, CA

2:30-3:30pm, Session 2
Anxiety & Autism: The Perfect Storm
Ricki Robinson, MD, MPH Co-Director of The Descanso Medical Center for Development and Learning; Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at USC Keck School of Medicine

3:30-4:30pm, Session 3
® Montage
This session will feature a video montage with contributions from many of the DIR®/Floortime programs in California.  At the conclusion, there will be a live performance.

Continuing Education - additional $50 charge (total registration, $150)

This course meets the qualifications for 6.0 hours of continuing professional development credit for the following:
Speech and Language Pathologists
ASHA logo
Occupational Therapists
Pasadena Child Development Associates is an approved provider of continuing education by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) #4956.
Approved Provider of Continuing education - AOTA
Pasadena Child Development Associates is an approved provider towards licensure requirements by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

CSUN Call for Papers - 9/6/11 - AT Conference 2012

Call for Papers: September 6, 2011 to September 30, 2011
Conference: February 27, 2012 to March 3rd, 2012 (San Diego)

The Center on Disabilities at California State University, Northridge is pleased to announce that the Call for Papers for the 27th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference begins next month.
The Call for Papers will open on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 and will close on Friday, September 30, 2011. Please Note: The Call for Papers will be open for 4 weeks only this year! Please plan early and submit your proposals as soon as possible. We are moving up our timelines and schedules to prepare for this year’s early event dates. Visit for more information about the Call for Papers and the 2012 CSUN Conference.
This year, we are honored to announce that Michael Paciello, Founder and President of The Paciello Group, will be the 2012 Conference Chair. Mike has been a long-time associate of the CSUN Conference and is currently serving his third term as a member of the Conference Advisory Council. Mike's experience as an international leader and technologist, with a dedication to stimulating education and research that ensure equality of access to information, will be assets to his new role as the 2012 Conference Chair.
Dr. Arthur Karshmer, last year’s Conference Chair, will once again take on the role of Program Chair which, with his experience and expertise, will ensure a diverse and rewarding schedule of relevant and significant presentations.
The 2012 CSUN Conference will be held February 27 to March 3 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego, California.

Sandy Plotin
Managing Director
Center on Disabilities
The Center on Disabilities at California State University, Northridge is pleased to announce that the Call for Papers for the 27th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference begins next week.
The Call for Papers will open on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 and will close on Friday, September 30, 2011. Please Note: The Call for Papers will be open for 4 weeks only this year! Please submit your proposals as soon as possible. We have moved up our timelines and schedules to prepare for this year's early event dates.
Visit on Tuesday, September 6, 2011 to make your Call for Papers submission. We strongly encourage you to review the information extremely carefully as the submission procedures have changed with a new on-line system. Also please remember that computer labs are no longer available for General Session presentations.
Visit for more information about the Call for Papers and the 2012 CSUN Conference.

2012 CSUN Conference Dates - February 27 - March 3, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Diego, CA

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Grand Opening-CALIF CCAF Communication Center - Los Angeles, 8/26/11

Thanks to Amy Hlad for the invitee to this event where she will demonstrate Dynavox technologies -

Communities Actively Living Independent & Free (CALIF) would like to invite you to come see the new Communication Center. CALIF was awarded a grant through the California Communication Access Foundation (CCAF) to implement a Communication Center for the disabled community and others.

Purpose of the Communication Center: The CALIF Communication Center was put into operation to provide access to equipment, tools, ways of connecting, and better communication for people with disabilities.

From the CALIF website: (click here for more)

Communities Actively Living Independent & Free's (CALIF) story is a piece of the overall and continuing story of the Disability Rights Movement in Los Angeles. The founders of CALIF not only come from a very diverse group of people with disabilities and ethnic backgrounds but also from different Disability Rights Activist groups like ADAPT, Californians for Disability Rights, California Network of Mental Health Clients, Special Services for Groups and AARP.
[Amy Hlad, Dynavox] will be attending this opening to demonstrate and discuss the latest in high tech DynaVox devices and services. Those attending will have the opportunity to try DynaVox devices, learn about the funding process, and meet and network with clinicians in the field, families, and supporters of AAC and AT.

When:    Friday, August 26 · 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Where:   Communities Actively Living Independent and Free (CALIF)

               634 South Spring Street, 2nd Floor
               Los Angeles, California 90014

For more information, please contact me at or CALIF at

Inexpensive ($180), 3-day PODD training in San Marcos, 9/28-30/11

Presenter: Linda Burkhart
Linda is a well-known teacher and leader in the field of assistive technology, adaptive play, and augmentative communication for children who face significant disabilities. She has conducted workshops and presentations nationally and internationally since 1982. She has also developed many publications and software to be used in these areas.
  • Target Audience: This workshop is for anyone working with young children who have difficulty communicating through speech.
  • Description: Children who are nonspeaking or have only limited speech, in addition to other challenges, often struggle to interact and communicate. This may include children who have physical disabilities, multiple disabilities, sensory processing challenges, limited social interaction skills, and/or a range of cognitive limitations and learning difficulties.

    This three day course will demonstrate the use of a Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD) approach developed by Gayle Porter (Melbourne, Australia). Generic templates for multi-page 'light tech' communication books have been carefully designed to support genuine communication for a variety of functions throughout the day. These templates may be customized for a range of access methods and other individual needs.

    Come learn strategies for creating multi-modal language learning environments that provide receptive models and expressive opportunities for language development. Learn strategies for teaching and using PODD with children and their communication partners. Videos and case examples will be shared. Participants will have an opportunity for hands-on practice with PODD Communication books.

    Participants will be able to:
    - Describe the challenges faced by professionals creating communication systems in terms of vocabulary organization, layout, design, range of access strategies and customizing for individual requirements.
    - Discuss the importance of receptive language input and creating a language learning environment
    Use a PODD Communication book to provide receptive language input for students
    - Discuss the features of a PODD communication system in terms of vocabulary organization, layout, design, range of access strategies and customizing for individual requirements.
    - Use PODD generic template resources to produce customized communication books.
    - Discuss the teaching and learning strategies for implementing PODD communication systems with students and team members.
  • Hosted by: NCCSE - view all of their low-cost trainings, click here
  • Cost:          $180
  • Date(s) & Time(s):  09/28/11, 9/29/11, 09/30/11, 8:30am - 3:30pm

  • Location:  North County Regional Education Center
                      255 Pico Avenue, San Marcos, CA 92069


Monday, August 22, 2011

Upcoming Event - CSHA District 7 September Social Networking & Recruiting Event

September 16th, Friday - Join members of SCAAC-N and your local SLP community at this CSHA District 7 evening event at the home of Terry Kappe in Temple City.  Bring a prospective CSHA member and you will both be entered to win an iPad & Super Duper products.  Pre-register and view the flyer by clicking HERE.

Save the Date - SCAAC-N Fall Quarterly Meeting, 10/18/11

End-Of-Summer Greetings from SCAAC-N!  
October 18, Tuesday - At the Fall Quarterly SCAAC-N Meeting, Leslie Comstock, SLP, of the Southern California Diagnostic Center will share information on Evidence Based Practice in Autism from her work with the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders.  Preview the EBP Briefs by clicking HERE. Follow the links to downloads of the Brief Package, Overview, Evidence base, Steps for Implementation, Implementation Checklist for each of the EBP interventions such as Functional Communication Training, Peer-Mediated Instruction, PECS, Social Narratives, Visual Supports, and more.
View companion video modules by creating an account with Autism Internet Module (click HERE, made available by the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio).  After entering a user email and creating a password, scroll down from Module Navigator to autism in the classroom (or click HERE).

We can't wait to hear more from Leslie on October 18!  Our meeting will be held in Pasadena, CA, from 6:30-8:00.  I hope you will join us then.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

AAC Job Annoucement - ATEC

Assistive Technology Exchange Center (ATEC)
Los Angeles/Orange Counties, California
The ATEC team is growing to meet the increasing demand for services. We have an immediate opening for a speech and language pathologist (SLP) to work full or part time.The position requires knowledge of AAC, as well as strong communication and organizational skills.Appropriate licensure is required. Prior AAC experience is preferred. Job locations in Los Angeles/Orange County, California.

Our Assistive Technology Exchange Center (ATEC) provides comprehensive assistive technology (AT) services for persons with a broad range of disabilities, including AAC program development, assessment, training, and education, throughout Southern California.

We offer competitive salaries, medical, dental, life, 403(b) retirement plan.Don't hesitate! Let's get started together!
Contact Name: Bruce Fleming
Phone: 714361-6200 ext. 226
Fax: 714 361-6220
Posted: 8/5/11

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Notes from Norco - PRC Implementation Training (Kara Bidstrup)

This afternoon's PRC training at the Norco USD's Learning Center was excellent!

Some highlights and points to ponder from Kara:

The “Nouners”:
Many students have a wealth of nouns in their spoken or augmented, expressive vocabulary.  While it is great to know the names of the stuff (nouns) that are important in your life, communication with nothing but nouns can hardly happen.  If a learner expresses only nouns, it is his partners’ job to infer or guess (accurately, or inaccurately) the intent or meaning of that expressed noun.  For example, the learner says “cupcake.” The partner may think this message is a request for a cupcake – BUT, there is so much more that may be behind this message, if only the learner had a variety of verbs and/or descriptors in his repertoire.  The message may be: want cupcake, but it could also be:
·      make cupcake
·      where cupcake
·      mommy cupcake
·      pink cupcake
·      eat cupcake
·      drop cupcake
…vocabulary beyond nouns allows the learner to be more clear about their intended message and reduces the need to guess.

Recommended Listening:
The Radio Lab Podcast NPR (to listen, click here)
We meet a woman who taught a 27-year-old man the first words of his life, hear a firsthand account of what it feels like to have the language center of your brain wiped out by a stroke, and retrace the birth of a brand new language 30 years ago (Kara liked this segment of the program on hearing impaired individuals create their own gestural language in South America).

 An argument for providing both WORD-based language teaching as well as access to and practice with PHRASE-level messages:
·      WORDS - In teaching signs we would model PLAY where if we were to mount a voice-output button on the wall, we might record the phrase "I want to play." We would never attempt to teach a new signer the entire, grammatically correct phrase I+WANT+PLAY, but would start at the 1-sign level.  The same should apply to voice output learners - just because can the technology can do it, doesn't mean we should start with phrases.  If we want learners to learn and use a language system, following the course of normal language development is recommended.  All true languages...
... have anaphora (reference back to a previous term so that exact repetition is not needed; e.g., 'Joe is a man, he is good.' ['he' refers back to 'Joe'])
… are generative (you can use the rules of grammar to generate/create/build novel utterances)
… are recursive (the process of repeating items in a self-similar way)
… have metaphor (figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable)
... have polysemy  (words that have 2 or more similar meanings; e.g.,  The house is at the foot of the mountains.  One of his shoes felt too tight for his foot)
  The Quad Profile – Checklist for Profiling Language Samples – is a great resource and guide to remind us about early development of morphology and semantic relations. Download it free by clicking here.

·       PHRASES – offer efficiency when you need it, emergency messages (e.g., "I need the bathroom"), time-sensitive social communication (e.g., cordial greeting - "nice to meet you")

Teaching Ideas - Core Vocabulary:
Gail VanTatenhove has designed a curriculum for teaching core vocabulary.  Known as the Pixon Project Kit ($150), it utilizes Minspeak symbols and relates to PRC's Unity language system (semantic compaction). To view the site, click here.
From the PRC store website:
The PixonTM Project Kit (VanTatenhove) is an early language development program built around the use of low-tech manual communication boards. The program provides materials and strategies needed to support effective early AAC intervention.
The curriculum provided in the Pixon Project Kit focuses on teaching a small set of high frequency, re-useable core vocabulary words. The goal of the curriculum is to provide individuals with complex communication needs with the same words used by typically developing children.
The Pixon Project Kit is a fantastic communication and language curriculum. But it also works as:
  • a stand-alone low-tech communication system.
  • a teaching tool to build language concepts prior to making a transition to a high-tech speech generating device.
  • a complement and back-up system to a high-tech speech generating device.
Sign up for Gail VanTatenhove’s FREE monthly newsletter of great, creative ideas for teaching core vocabulary one target word/concept at a time.  Subscribe in the lower left-hand corner of the Minspeak website, by clicking here.
A recent issue focused on "can" questions, and how to teach use of this question form in a variety of activities.

Kara distributed a CD-ROM to each participant with materials such as games and books to teach and reinforce single and early, multi-hit/word learning.  Many of these resources are online at PRC's AAC Language Lab, here.

Implementation Video Samples:
View over 60 videos, both of users as well as instructional clips, posted on the PRCaccess channel on YouTube. Click here to view their videos.

Mobile Technology Materials:
PRC has developed 16 similar books for the iPad and they are FREE in the iTunes store (search "prentke romich") as well as for Kindle and Nook at, in the Kindle store (search "prentke romich")

PRC's iBooks target the following vocabulary, one book per bullet:
·      on and off
·      in and on
·      stop
·      go
·      play
·      want
·      get            
·      make
·      feel
·      make
·      eat
·      drink
·      going to
·      using “a” and “the” (Title: Scavenger Hunt)
·      using “is” and “are” (Title: Emily and Claire are Friends)
·      Where are Mike and Mickey?
·      Who Took the Bananas from the Banana Tree?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

ProLoQuo2Go NEW Online Webinars

Eric Sailers, SLP (San Diego) has completed four, free, online Webinars on the ProLoQuo2Go communication app for iPod Touch, iPhone, and iPad created by AssistiveWare.  

Go to the following link, and click "View in iTunes," to find Part 1s & 2 for both "Users" (content geared for users, family, caregivers) as well as Parts 1 & 2 for "Professionals":
Click here

To view Eric Sailer's own web page  CLICK HERE

Thursday, August 4, 2011

PRC Invites You to Two FREE Workshops! (Tues, 8/16; Norco, CA)

Stay posted for SCAAC-N quarterly meeting notes from 7/19/11 - coming soon!

It was great to have our local PRC rep, Kara Bidstrup, in attendance. 

You Are Invited to Two FREE Workshops!
Kara Bidstrup, M.S., CCC-SLP
Phone:  (800) 262-1984 ext. 472

These informative hands-on sessions will be presented by PRC Regional Consultants:  Kara Bidstrup and Julie Packer.
Julie Packer, M.S., Ed.
Phone:  (800) 262-1984 ext. 445
Overview of Vantage Lite with UnityDate:  August 16, 2011
Time:  8:30am - 11:30am
Facility:  Learning Center North
Location:  Norco, CA
ASHA CEUs:  0.3
This course focuses on Unity software available in the Vantage Lite. This class is an overview of vocabulary options and their use to create spontaneous novel utterances. Participants will be given teaching strategies to support Unity. Participants will also be introduced to basic device operation such as using the set up key, importing photos, hiding keys, backing up memory, and keyboard emulation.
Devices are not required, but participants may bring a Vantage Lite, Vantage, Vanguard, ECO, or laptop computer with the free Vantage Lite PASS software. (Any version of the devices will be ok)
Overview of Implementation Strategies for AACDate:  August 16, 2011
Time:  12:30pm - 3:30pm
Facility:  Learning Center North
Location:  Norco, CA
ASHA CEUs:  0.3
This condensed presentation focuses on strategies to teach and promote the use of an augmentative communication system to get students to independently initiate spontaneous, novel utterances rather than simply repeating pre-stored sentences when prompted. The strategies presented will cover a range of communication ages and abilities, including those at the level of emerging language and literacy. The teaching strategies presented are appropriate for a wide variety of devices and programs.
This presentation is appropriate for anyone (teacher, SLP, parent, paraprofessional, etc.) working with a student using a communication device.
Devices are not required at this training.
Participants may bring an ECO, Vanguard, Vantage, Vantage Lite or laptop computer downloaded with PASS software.
Attend This Training

FREE product training seminars will help you get the most from your PRC communication device
Attend the Training that Meets Your Needs. 
It's Easy!
  • Create a personal PRC Account
  • Enter your information once
  • At a glance, view your upcoming trainings and much more.
If you have already created your personal PRC account, simply click here to login.

ASHA CEUs Available

For more information, contact our PRC Seminar Coordinators at (800) 848-8008.

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Sent By:
Prentke Romich Company
1022 Heyl Road
Wooster OH 44691

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Online resources & training from Dynavox

Stay posted for SCAAC-N quarterly meeting notes from our Summer meeting, 7/19/11 - coming soon!

From Amy Hlad (great to have her at the Summer meeting):

At this address you'll find the resource sheet (Re: Literacy resources) that was included in the Dynavox resource folder.  Click here

Below you’ll also find the direct link to online training classes (scheduled and recorded) as well as a link to the Dynavox implementation toolkit learning paths page.
Scheduled and Recorded Classes - here

Not sure what you're looking for? With "Learning Paths", you can enjoy browsing through hundreds of resources to find videos and handouts, organized by topic, that fit your specific needs.

Kind regards,

Amy Hlad
Sales Consultant
Los Angeles County- Children
DynaVox and Mayer-Johnson
65 Pine Ave. #185
Long Beach, CA 90802
Toll Free 800-344-1778 x 7922