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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Friday, November 23, 2012

PrAACtical AAC Goals that Matter - Creating an AAC Goal Bank

Re-Post from PrAACtical AAC

Like 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.”
On 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.
Help Develop an AAC Goal BankWe 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.
How Do I Get Involved?
  1. Go to PrAACtical Goals That Matter, a collaborative document on Google Drive.
  2. Browse. We’ve started the list off with 100 ideas for AAC goals.
  3. Add any that you wish, but please follow the DO’s and DON’Ts that we listed above.
  4. If you’d like to be acknowledged as a Contributor, add your name. This is completely optional.
  5. If you have difficulty modifying the document, send them to us by email (addresses in the document) and we’ll take it from there.
Editable document on Google Drive:
PDF for printing on Dropbox:
Feel 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.

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