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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Monday, February 4, 2013

Closing the Gap Solutions Newsletter, Feb/March 2013

The February/March, 2013 edition of Closing The Gap is now available online!
In addition to the helpful articles and newly updated 2013 Resource Directory listings, four archived webinars have recently been added!

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Getting Writing with the Alphabet on the  Radar for Students with Significant Physical and Intellectual Disabilities  (Download highlighted article PDF)

By Gretchen Hanser, PhD
For children without disabilities, writing is an essential, unquestioned component of literacy development - from the very start. The active construction of print, through writing, plays a central role in nurturing children's understandings of print (Sulzby, 1990). In the early years of life, young children have hundreds of opportunities to draw, scribble and make pseudo letters - all of which can be characterized as "emergent writing." As students develop more knowledge about writing, their writing becomes readable and is "conventional" in nature. Central to this discussion is the principle that emergent writing opportunities play a necessary role in preparing children to write conventional, readable text (Teale & Sulzby, 1986). 

It is no surprise that students with significant disabilities have radically different experiences with writing. Given their significant disabilities, they have dramatically fewer and qualitatively different early literacy experiences than children without disabilities peers (Koppenhaver, Coleman, Kalman, & Yoder, 1991; Light & McNaughton, 1993; Light & Smith, 1993; Pierce & McWilliam, 1993). For students with significant physical and intellectual disabilities who are unable to hold a pencil, writing may be laborious and frustrating and may not even be on the radar (Hanser, 2006). 

In the recent decade, the importance of writing for this population has been recognized, however, the majority of attention has been focused on writing with words and/or phrases and less on using the alphabet (Musselwhite & Hanser, 2011). Given the importance of writing using the alphabet, this article will offer concepts, activities and strategies for getting emergent writing and early conventional writing on the radar for this population of students using the full alphabet.  
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Conference Dates
October 9-11, 2013 

Preconference Workshops  
Monday and Tuesday,
October 7-8, 2013

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Registration available 
April 1, 2013

Included with any online subscription 

NEW! Creating ePub Documents on the iPad

NEW! Is Your Head in the Clouds?? This can be a Good Thing
By Mo Buti
NEW! Switch Access on the iPad - Updated!
By Dan Herlihy

NEW! Student Response Apps for iPads, iPods and the Web
By Dan Herlihy 

Beyond Angry Birds - Fun Educational Apps
By Mark Coppin

Creating Your Own eBooks for the iPad, iPod or Nook Color 
By Dan Herlihy

Creative Teaching Ideas + Free and Low-Cost POWER Tools = Efficient Structured Teaching
By Phyl Macomber

iDevices - The Next Level 
By Mark Coppin
Jumpstart Your iPad Experience with Free Apps!
By Dan Herlihy

The iPod and iPad as Assistive Technology
By Mark Coppin
Using iPad Apps in Special Education
By Mark Coppin

Video Modeling and Visual Stories on the iPad
By Mark Coppin

OT + AT = Success Teaching Dressing Skills to Student in Schools
By Kathy Foster

TOP TEN Technology Tools to Support Students in Reading
By Kindy Segovia

The Writing Process - Apps for Writing
By Donna Wakefield
Bring the Joy of Reading to Your Struggling Readers with Start-to-Finish Books

By Mary Ann McGinn, Pam Guio and Joan Obial


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