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, June 26, 2013

Jobs! AAC Specialist in Westchester, NY

The Assistive Technology Program at the Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD) in Valhalla, NY is seeking a Speech-Language Pathologist with specialization in Augmentative/Alternative Communication.  This person will provide evaluation and/or training to individuals throughout the lifespan. 

Two Positions:
The SLP/AACS Position is an hourly, per diem position, approximately 10 hours per week in our Valhalla AT clinic. There is also a SLP/AACS Full time Position. Responsibilities may include direct as well as consultative services; report writing and documentation; presentations, workshops, teaching courses.

1. M.S. or M.A. Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from an accredited graduate program.
2. New York State license to practice as a Speech-Language Pathologist.
3. Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
4. Minimum of three years experience.

Send cover letter, C.V. and salary requirements to Danielle McFadden at

Please send cover letter, C.V. and salary requirements to: Danielle McFadden at or by mail to: Danielle McFadden, Human Resources, Westchester Institute for Human Development, Room 306, Cedarwood Hall, Valhalla, NY 10595.
Please send cover letter, C.V. and salary requirements to: Danielle McFadden at or by mail to: Danielle McFadden, Human Resources, Westchester Institute for Human Development, Room 306, Cedarwood Hall, Valhalla, NY 10595.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

FREE AbleNet Univ Webinars - July

More FREE Webinars from AbleNet University. CLICK HERE to go to AbleNet's complete 2013 webinar list.

7/10/13 - Wednesday
Updated! Why Can't They Just Behave? The Importance of Self-regulation!
      • Time: 4:00 PM to 4:45 PM CST

      • Presenter: Mo Buti, M.Ed-BD, M.Ed-ADMIN

      • Level: Beginner

      • Cost: FREE

7/16/13 - Tuesday
Session 2: Matching AT Supports to Service Needs
      • Time: 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM CST

      • Presenter: Gayl Bowser, Assistive Technology Collaborations

      • Level: Beginner/Intermediate

      • Cost: FREE

7/30/13 - Tuesday
Session 3: Overview of Coaching Skills to Support AT Use
      • Time: 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM CST

      • Presenter: Gayl Bowser, Assistive Technology Collaborations

      • Level: Beginner/Intermediate

      • Cost: FREE

SCAAC at AbleNet University

SCAAC-N's own Sharon Rogers and Lesley Mayne will present another fabulous webinar via AbleNet University TODAY, Tues at 12:00!

June 25, 2013
Lesley and SharonAAC Developing Participation: Part 5: Maximizing Participation

      • Time: 12:00PM to 1:00 PM CST

      • Presenter: Lesley E. Mayne, PhD, CCC-SLP & Sharon M. Rogers, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

      • Level: Beginner/Intermediate

      • Cost: FREE

Register Now 


Monday, June 24, 2013

SCAAC-N Summer Quarterly Meeting - Sunday, July 14

Happy Summer to you all!

The SoCal AAC Network will take the Summer Quarterly Meeting on the road and join the TACA parent group in Burbank, CA, for a Sunday afternoon meeting.

Autism Learning Seminar – iPads and Autism July 14, 2013 
Time: 4:00 – 7:00 PM
Gwendolyn Meier, MA, CCC-SLP, MT-BC

The iPad as an Augmentative Communication Device
Sarit Ariam, Esq.
Navigating the System to Get Assistive Technology

Location: Burbank First United Methodist Church - **NEW LOCATION**
700 N. Glenoaks Ave.
Burbank, CA 91502
Directions from your location
Coordinators: Contact Moira Giammatteo and Holly Riley
Child care: Not Available at this time, sorry.

Please click here to RSVP.

Joystick iPad Accessibility - Books

Everybody loves touchscreens, right? Well...

Even if you have motor impairments that keep you from efficiently and effectively interacting with the capacitive screens (that require touch and don't rely on pressure) - you still might love them! But if you can't control your touch, much of the touchscreen tablet world is not accessible to you. I first heard mention of an iPad joystick at the Closing the Gap conference in October 2012. Patti King deBaun flashed an iPad with a suction cup joystick on the screen and spoke on how iPad book pages can be "turned" using an on-screen arrow and a knock on the joystick. 

The iPad joystick is not a common item and cannot be purchased at the Apple Store or Best Buy. They haven't even heard of the thing! Pictured is Joystick-it (online ~$5 plus shipping).  It is a small, metal wand seated on a plastic suction cup that is ringed by a layer of conductive foam. This foam will activate the screen location where it touches the surface of the glass.

When the joystick is rocked, the foam must touch the onscreen target (in the case of these books, the page-turn arrow) and voila! a gross motor movement of reaching even a closed fist toward the wand requires significantly less aim and grading of force. 

The case your iPad is in may interfere with the joystick placement. Above you see the Big Grips Frame ($34.95) that allows the joystick to be centered on the edge of the touchscreen area and to rock freely to both the right and the left - which will allow it to touch and release the page-turn arrow. For users that cannot access the screen, set-up will be required. Each book app has an option of "Read to Me" that should be selected to start the first page of the book. From there, book reading/listening can be independent if this movement is an option. Be aware that the joystick is not permanently adehered; given a forceful knock, it can be slid across the glass or knocked off entirely.

Continue reading (CLICK HERE) for more than 20 free and inexpensive iPad book app titles to use with your joystick!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"I Want to Say" - a video on AAC for Autism

If you haven't seen this video from February, care of the Hacking Autism initiative from Autism Speaks, please take 27 minutes and give it a watch. Insights are shared from the keyboards of young people with ASD and those that care for them. Keep a tissue close.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

CONNECT Modules: Video Learning

I ran across some fantastic video clips of a young boy using his voice output device, and quickly fell down a rabbit hole of information...thanks Google and YouTube! The CONNECT Modules come out of the FPG Child Development Institute at Univ. of North Carolina. There are 7 modules that could serve as a fantastic resource to early childhood educators who might work with children with special needs who are included into their preschool programs.

Take a look at some videos of Luke, a 3-year old augmented communicator: 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

AAC Videos from an unexpected source - SPORT Balla

Golf...Super Bowl...Cheerleaders...Tennis...and AAC?!?

I don't know much about Sport Balla's mission, but I DO like their collection of VIDEOS ON AAC, communication, and technology. Simple, professional and informal videos are instructive those just dipping their toes into the arena of augmentative communication ass well as the more seasoned peruse-r. 

Hours of watching! Take a look for yourself.

...And if anyone can answer the riddle that lies in "Sports Balla = AAC" I will be forever grateful!

Click to link to their list of AAC videos.