The Southern California Augmentative and Alternative Communication Network...
...is 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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Pixon Teaching Tip: Pixons® can be used as teaching
materials for picturing the metaphors behind Unity® icon sequences. The
word for this week is “turn”. Compare the Pixon to the icon sequence .
Teach the meaning of the word “turn” using a prop that turns around and
around. Then apply that to stirring around and around in a pan.
Extend the meaning to turning around on a merry-go-round, turning the
page in a book, and turning something on or off.
Intervention Planning: Thank you to Christina Dal Santo,
Annette O’Connor, and Malia Vigil for the Intervention Plan for teaching
the core verb “turn”. Use it with an animated PowerPoint show they developed called Turn!
Teaching Materials Exchange: Read Happy Hanukkah
and talk about what families do during this holiday. The book is coded
with Pixons® and icon sequences from Unity®45, Unity®60, Unity®84, and
Pittsburgh AAC Language Seminar Series: Register TODAY for an upcoming seminar series. Go to the Minspeak website for the schedule and registration materials.
Do you use an assistive device to get things done, or to make your life easier?
Have you modified a device to make it work better, or come up with your own device?
Then show off your AT!
Share your ideas and win some cash doing it.
The purpose of the contest is to showcase the creative ways people
with disabilities use assistive technology in their daily lives. Many
people with disabilities use assistive technologies to accomplish tasks
they otherwise could not. Sometimes they modify a commercial device or
improvise their own device to meet a specific need. By sharing your
ideas and the solutions you created, you can motivate and inspire others
who are looking for solutions of their own.
Five finalists will be selected from submitted videos and posted to
the AT Network Channel on Youtube. Online voting by the public will
determine the winner. The winning video will be featured on the new AT
The winning Video will receive,
1st Prize $400
2nd Prize $150
3rd Prize $75
How to Enter:
Create your video in accordance with the Official Rules and post it to your youtube.com account.
Before the holiday madness takes over completely, mark your calendar for the U.S. Premiere of "The 'R' Word"—an
extraordinary documentary film that explores the experience of having a
developmental disability (or loving someone who does).
Rarely, do we see the experiences of our children and families reflected so directly and clearly in the media. Winner of the 2012 TASH Positive Images in the Media Award, "The 'R' Word" will be screened at this special—and FREE—public event.
thanks to the Achievable Foundation, Frank D. Lanterman Regional
Center, Tarjan Center at UCLA, and the Canadian Association for
Community Living for their kind and generous support.
PLEASE SHARE THIS INFORMATION WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILIES!
some of you, we often get asked “The Question.” People sometimes ask us
to give them a recommendation about what AAC device or app is best for
a particular individual. When the question comes from a parent or
therapist whom we don’t know, it’s understandable. But when it is from a
clinician we’ve taught, (who should know better), it’s a bit baffling.
Obviously, we’d never make that kind of recommendation without having
done an evaluation, or at least reviewing someone else’s assessment. We
dread “The Question.”
the other hand, there are a lot of things that we wish people would ask
that relate to how to help the communicator develop strong skills. This
post relates to to one of those type of questions. “What should I work
on?” “What kinds of AAC goals should we write?” We like those kinds of
questions and our answers generally have one consistent theme: Write
goals that matter.
Goals That Matter - To us, here’s what writing Goals That Matter means.
Goals That Matter DO address skills that make the communicator happier or more independent.
Goals That Matter DO teach things that enable the communicator to be a more efficient learner.
Goals That Matter DO provide a strong foundation for further language development.
Goals That Matter DO positively influence how other people treat the communicator.
Goals That Matter DON’T address a skill just because the communicator missed it on a test/ evaluation instrument.
Goals That Matter DON’T teach something just because it is part of a goal sequence that someone developed for a generic program.
Goals That Matter DON’T assume that because someone hasn’t mastered ‘early skills’ that ‘later skills’ are out of the question.
don’t pretend to have all the answers in writing goal writing in AAC.
Not by a long shot. But we do have some experience with this issue and,
more importantly, the opportunity to gather together some collective
wisdom from all of you out there doing the work. So, consider this an
invitation: Please join us is developing a set of goals that young
clinicians or those relatively new to AAC can use as a resource. Even
experienced AAC clinicians may enjoy browsing them. As clinicians, we
are frequently inspired by the exchange of ideas and the fresh
perspective that offers.
free to pass this invitation on to others whose perspective on AAC you
value and respect. Hopefully, we will end up with a list of meaningful
goals that we can browse to use when we need some new ideas. Thanks in
advance for any prAACtical input you can give.
Good afternoon Los Angeles Assistive Technology Collaborative –
Thank you everyone who was able to
attend our meeting last week and a special thanks to Gwendolyn at Villa Esperanza Services for hosting! I wanted to provide a meeting summary
some resources from our collaborative partners.
COLLABORATIVE PARTNER UPDATES:
·So. Cal AAC Network (Gwendolyn): Hosted fall meeting last week on “iPad Share & Show,” summary and other group
announcement/resources can be found at SCAAN’s website:
·EmpowerTech (Judy): Hosts Open Access Labs on Wednesdays from 330-6 p.m. and on Thursdays from 330-6 p.m. for
Seniors. For more information, please visit the EmpowerTech website (LINK)
·Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center – AT Program (Rose & Lauren): Facilitates an adult AAC users group, typically
on the 2nd Wednesday from 430-530 p.m. at Lanterman Regional Center. For more information on the program, please visit:
http://www.lanterman.org/assistive_technology/ and more specific information on the AAC users groups, please contact Marjorie Gell at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 213.383.1300 ext. 6340
·AT Network (Rosemarie): Hosted its fall So. Cal. AT Network meeting this week. Other upcoming trainings/events
is on 11/29 webinar on “AT in Medi-Cal managed care” presented by LA Care. Other trainings/webinars can be found on:
·CCS (Kelly): Presented at the OT conference on AAC, spoke on team approach and access. Possibly presenting
at the National OT conference in April 2013.
FUTURE COLLABORATIVE PRESENTATION:
·The LA AT Collaborative will be submitting a session application to present at the
9th Annual ATI Conference on Saturday, Feb. 2nd (save the date PDF, HERE) 2013 at the Orange County Dept. of Ed. in Costa Mesa.
The session will discuss the collaborative, it’s history, goals &
objectives, and speaking about the benefits of collaboration.
For those interested in participating in the presentation, please
contact me. Further information to follow as the conference nears.
Re-post from PediaStaff. Thanks to Megan Panatier, our SCAAC-Networker, for her work in this area!
Cutting Through the Hype: Essential Social Media Tools for SLPs – A Guidebook
Thank you for visiting the PediaStaff Social Media Learning Center – Featuring the #SLPeeps and/or our Learning Lab – Cutting Through the Hype: Essential Social Media Tools for SLPs. We hope you found our sessions educational and engaging. As you discovered, Pinterest, Blogs, Twitter, and other social media
platforms can be for far more than sharing baby pictures! Used wisely,
these technologies can be an indispensable part of your personal learning network and profoundly impact your effectiveness as a speech-language or audiology clinician.
Oh, and for those of you that are new to PediaStaff, please take a look around. Our PediaStaff blog
is very informative, and is a great way for you to get started on your
journey towards becoming a social media savvy SLP! Welcome to the
deadline for the 9th Annual ATI Conference breakout session speaker
applications has been EXTENDED to Wednesday, Nov. 21st!
If you are
interested in presenting at the 9th Annual ATI conference is on Saturday, Feb. 2nd, 2013 at the Orange County Dept. of Education in Costa Mesa, CA, please contact me at email@example.com or 714.361.6200 x226. http://ati.atec-oc.org/.
individuals with disabilities, preparing and eating the Thanksgiving
dinner can be difficult without the right assistive technology (AT)
Difficulty with chewing and swallowing can
result in choking, aspirating, and other medical complications;
therefore it is critical consult with a medical professional if chewing
and swallowing are challenging. An
occupational therapist or speech-language pathologist can assist with
determining what AT may aid with self-feeding, eating, and swallowing.
Assistive Technology Tools
Food Prep: One-Handed Cutting Board
* Nails hold food in place
* Corner guards keep food from sliding
Utensils: Universal Cuff
* Built up foam makes it easier to grasp
* Velcro strap keeps securely in place
Dinnerware: Freedom Dinnerware
* Suction base prevents bowl from moving if accidentally bumped or hit
* Deeper side makes it easier to scoop
Drinking: Nosey Cup
* Cut-out for nose to allow for drinking without tipping your head
Thursday, December 6th 4:00 Pacific (7PM EST)
Jennifer Leighton, M.A., CCC-SLP From Pictures to Technology: Creating an Environment for Language Learning, Communication, and Independence Join
us for a webinar hosted by Jennifer Leighton, M.A., CCC-SLP to learn
how to create an environment for language learning, communication, and
independence. Register today! Jennifer joined the Cotting Consulting team at the Cotting School,
in Lexington, Massachusetts, in May 2012. As part of this program
Jennifer goes out to schools to teach strategies and best practices for
technology integration and implementation, increasing staff comfort with
higher-tech options. She provides staff education and therapeutic
Archived Webinars on AT in ASD from Autism Speaks: How to Use Technology to Enhance Learning for People with ASD Mark Mautone, Special Education Teacher On October 2nd, Mark Mautone's webinar covered the ways technology is
being used to improve the life of people with autism spectrum disorder. Mark has extensive knowledge in assistive technology that includes
adapting curriculum, creating individualized technological curriculum
using iWorks and iLife, and effectively harnessing standard curriculum
with iPad/iPod Touch applications to create a seamless learning
experience. Didn't get a chance to see it? You can watch Mark's Webinar here!(you'll be asked for your email address. Mac users may need to install a player) Click here to see the webinar overview. Click here to see the webinar slides. Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC), Evaluation and Treatment Kate Grandbois, MS, CCC-SLP On November 14, Kate Grandbois, MS, CCC-SLP, covered the different technologies that can help people with autism and how to
request a Technology Assessment. Kate is a certified and licensed speech and language pathologist who
serves children and adults with developmental disabilities. Kate
specializes in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), autism
and related neurological disorders, speech and language disorders, and
social skills development. Didn't get a chance to see it? You can watch Kate's Webinar here! (you'll be asked for your email address. Mac users may need to install a player)
Click here to see the webinar slides. Click here to see a list of key words for AAC Evaluations.
With changes in technology and equipment, access has become extremely important for success with AAC. The Accent™ family of PRC devices ( Accent™1200 and Accent™ 1000 and Accent™ 700)
will feature capacitive touch-screens. This means they can be
controlled with a very light touch of a finger. Capacitive
touch-screens are commonly found on many cell phones and tablet
computers. Individuals who are accustomed to the light touch required
to activate a capacitive touch-screen will appreciate the ease-of-use of
this new feature. Individuals who are accustomed to resistive
touch-screens, such as those on PRC's legacy devices (i.e. SpringBoard™,
Vantage™, and ECO™) know that they require a slightly higher level of
pressure to activate than the new capacitive touch-screens.
Fortunately, a slight setting adjustment in the Accent devices can help make the screen less sensitive. To adjust the capacitive screen:
Go to the Toolbox
Choose the Access Method Menu
Change Acceptance Time to .20
This adjustment will make the Accent's screenfeel
more like that of a SpringBoard, Vantage, or ECO. If your touch-screen
is still too sensitive, you can try increasing the acceptance time
until you reach a level that works best for the device user. This small
adjustment can make all the difference in assessing the Accent.
If the device user has difficulty with accidentally activating the same
key twice, the Release Time function can also be adjusted. Here's how:
Go to the Toolbox
Choose the Access Method Menu
Increase the Release Time (increase up to .5 or higher), and the key will not be activated again due to a secondary selection right after the first.
is to try a TouchGuide™, as well, as it can increase accuracy in
pushing the desired key, and provides some tactile feedback when finding
the desired key.
If you have any questions or would like to
explore the variety of access methods offered in PRC devices, please
contact me. I am extremely knowledgeable in regards to both language
and access and can assist you in getting things as close to perfect as
New!PRC Online Order Status Center
Want to check the status of your order online? Now you can at prentrom.com/sales. TheOnline Order Status Centerprovides
24/7 access to order information simply by entering your Sales Order
Number, Customer Number, or Last Name and Zip Code. Try it today!
New!PRC Trainings Available in Your Area
Unity Language for LifeDate: November 14, 2012 Time: 9:00am - 3:30pm Facility: Assistive Technology Exchange Center Location: Santa Ana, CAAttend This Training This
course will focus on the features of Unity for Unity 60, 84, and 144
(Accent, ECO, or Vantage Lite devices). Participant will review overlays
and icon features/functions, Unity Pattern 1 (verbs, nouns, adjectives,
and adverbs) and Unity Pattern 2 (pronouns). You will also learn Unity
Pattern 3 (pronoun phrases), Unity Pattern 4 (noun categories), Unity
Pattern 5 (closed class categories), and strategies for teaching Unity
for this training are not required. If you choose to bring a device or
laptop computer, please bring a Vantage Lite/Vantage/Vanguard with
software version 5.06 or higher; ECO with software version 2.07 or
higher; Accent 1200 with software version 1.02 or higher; or laptop
computer pre-loaded with the appropriate PASS Software.
iOS is generally very stable but every once in a while you’ll
encounter a third party app that isn’t. Apps can freeze or become stuck,
you’ll usually know instantly because the iPad or iPhone
becomes unresponsive to touch behavior or something within the app is
clearly running amuck. When this happens the best thing to do is to
force quit the app.
Force Quit an App in iOS
This will be the same on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch:
Hold down the Power button at the top of the device until the “Slide
to Power Off” message appears and then release the power button
Now hold the Home button at the base of the screen until the app forcibly quits, this can take several seconds
You’ll know force quitting was successful because the app will close and you will be returned to your home screen and icons. iPhone and iPad apps should rarely freeze, if you continuously encounter stability issues you may want to backup and then reset to factory defaults or restore to try and resolve the problems.
They've been popping up for years, and I've been wondering why to care about QR Codes, aka. Quick Response Codes. This two-dimensional
bar code was originally created by a Japanese company (of course) in 1994 for use in the Automotive industry for tracking
parts and high-speed data decoding. In recent years, QR codes
have made their way into the education field's broad and sometimes overwhelming category of emerging technologies, and while this post does not directly relate to AAC, I think these little guys are worth knowing about.
QR codes consist of black squares of varying sizes arranged on a
white background and in our modern advertising world are intended to be scanned into your mobile device from a billboard, bus ad, poster or magazine page in order to get more information, a special coupon, etc. With an app such as Scan by QR Code City
on your mobile device and WiFi service, you aim, your device locks onto
and scans the QR code frame, and then (most often) takes you to a web site.
A QR code can store all kinds of information. Here are some common uses:
Web Addresses / URLs
Numeric Code, Part Numbers: Up to 7,089 Characters
Alphanumeric: Up to 4,296 Characters
GPS Data / Coordinates
Contact Information / Business Card Info / Vcard Data
From Sweeney: QR codes lend themselves to be used in scavenger hunts
in which a child locates the codes you have hidden around the classroom,
therapy center, or wherever. They also lend themselves to story
mapping, as a story can be broken down into text elements and printed as
QR codes, one for character/setting, one for kickoff, and so on.(CLICK HERE to go to an example of Sweeney's story grammar marker QR codes)
Here is a QR code I created on a free website called Kaywa. Open your QR scanner app, point, scan, and your device will procede to a URL formy post of the 46 ASHA Convention 2012 sessions on AAC (poster sessions excluded).
A little more about QR codes from Sean Sweeneyis available on the ASHAsphere (ASHA's official blog)...So what about QR codes is applicable to us as SLPs and educators? First of all, they are extremely easy to
create and print for use in sessions (though again, you need to have
access to [a mobile device], or a computer with a
webcam in order to read them). Secondly, they are an instant attention-grabber for kids, and
constitute a kind of high-tech hide and seek. Rather than giving kids a
piece of paper that serves as a stimulus (word or picture), you can
present (or hide!) a QR Code they can scan in order to read a text
message or see an image, website or video. Students from Kindergarten to
High School are engaged by this little hook, which adds the process of
discovery to any of your sessions.
Black via Teaching All Students blog (scan the code I created for this URL, at left,and read the blog on your device): QR
Codes are everywhere, and I've started using them in my classroom.
One use I have been trying, is attaching them to homework for students.
Typically I'll print them out on an address label and the code will
link to a screencast or video explanation of the homework activity... great way to share information with parents, and help
students remember what they need to do on worksheets. Nothing special
but an easy way to incorporate multiple representations in an activity.
Read Sean Sweeney's Part 2 on creating your own QR codes, posted on ASHAsphere.He describes in detail how to create
various kinds of QR codes, apps to use to scan them, and lesson ideas
for you to try out right away!
Cost: Included in $99 unlimited CEU package
This course is the second of a two-part series that will provide a
comprehensive introduction to Rett syndrome for the practicing
clinician. This course will review the best evidence on assessment and
treatment of communication skills in individuals with Rett syndrome and
provide practical strategies for design and implementation of
intervention programs with this complex population. The use of
augmentative and alternative communication strategies, from low-tech
options to electronic eyetracking systems, will be discussed. The course
will include description and demonstration of a communication coaching
model that can be implemented in schools and in the home with a variety
of communication partners.
Theresa Bartolotta, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Theresa E. Bartolotta earned her Master’s degree in
Speech-Language Pathology from Queens College of the City University of
New York and her Ph.D. from Seton Hall University. She is Associate
Professor of Speech-Language Pathology and Director of Assessment in the
Office of the Provost at Seton Hall. Her primary research interests are
in communication impairment in autism spectrum disorders, including
Rett syndrome. She has published articles and presented widely on Rett
syndrome and communication intervention in this population.
Another great story, referred by Terry Kappe, SLP!
The folks at TouchChat
have put their app to work for a young girl with autism and two trusty dogs. Personalized with pics/words, this TouchChat vocabulary can be used to allow the child to give these pups commands using her iPad.
Ricochet and Rina have been learning how to take voice cues from the synthesized voice (Laura) from an
electronic device. Watch a training session video HERE.Technology creates learning curves for all beings (not just the human kind). Alternatively, the programmer could have also
used the Button Action called "Play Audio" so that the app can play
digitized speech of an actual person delivering the verbal command with