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, September 27, 2013

JOBS! Assistive Technology Manager at Kennedy-Krieger (Baltimore, MD)

Sounds like a GREAT position!

Assistive Technology Manager will administer and manage Assistive Technology (AT) clinical services, offer inpatient and outpatient AT evaluations and treatment, consult with patients’ speech-language pathologists and other therapists regarding their treatment; provide oversight and direct clinical services to patients seen in other programs at Kennedy-Krieger Institute; offer training sessions about AT and environmental control unit (ECU) technology and its application to different patient populations; supervise clinical staff in AT; maintain documentation relative to services offered; and participate in intra- and interdisciplinary training programs. Full-time. (CLICK HERE to apply)


Masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology with related clinical requirements.
Must have Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology granted by ASHA.

Must have completed a minimum of five years of clinical experience with an emphasis on pediatric communication disorders.
Must have high-level experience in prescribing and using augmentative and alternative communication and environmental control units and working with an interdisciplinary assistive technology team.
Experience delivering formal presentations is expected.
Experience or additional course work in administration, supervision, or management are beneficial.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Check out the NEW Assistive Technology Internet Module (ATIM)

The ODE-OEC, through its contract with the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI), is pleased to announce a new Assistive Technology Internet Module (ATIM), titled "AT Assessment Tools".  

Found at, under the tab "AT Problem Solving Across the Lifespan", this module is a comprehensive review of both free and commercially available AT assessment tools.  Some of these tools offer guidance for every step of the AT assessment process while others focus on specific components of AT such as evaluation of AT supports for reading and writing.  

This module concludes with a review of user satisfaction tools and checklists that measure the effectives and perceived usefulness of implemented AT.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

AbleNet University - FREE webinars

AbleNet has content for you!
Recorded webinars in a variety of areas: Curriculum, Communication, AT/Switches/Mounts, iDevices, Computer Access, EADL's. Oh yeah - live Webinars, too.

Take a look - HERE. Click on your tab of choice.

TouchMath iPad app - FREE Intro

Search TouchMath in the iTunes app store!

Questions?!? FREE webinar 10/1

How many of your AAC users need help understanding, answering and asking questions? Turns out, they are not alone! Join in on this FREE, live webinar Tuesday, 10/1/13 at 1:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) hosted by Enablemart and presented by Mary Wilson, president of Laureate Learning Systems. 

It's true, this webinar is aimed at promoting the Laureate software QuestionQuest, but I would bet that all of us creative "speechies" out in the inter-web might be able to glean ideas and insights that w could relate to low-tech therapy'll never know unless you participate!

How to Help Students Who Have Difficulty Understanding, Answering and Asking Questions

Many students with language disorders have difficulty understanding, answering, and asking questions. These deficits contribute to problems with social and academic performance from kindergarten throughout the school years. Learn how QuestionQuest®, a three-level, research-based software series, can help students master understanding and answering common forms of questions (Who, What, Where, Why, How, With What, and Yes/No).

In this webinar, you will learn:

- How to help students understand, answer, and ask Wh- and Yes/No questions

- Current theory and research on question acquisition

- The training progression for teaching question understanding and answering

- Strategies for helping students ask questions

Registrants will receive a recording of the webinar to refer back to at their convenience. Attendees will receive a certificate of attendance for professional development purposes.

**Join us for the webinar and get 50% off your QuestionQuest Package purchase + a chance to win a FREE Package!


Small Collection of Fall Materials - re-post from Chapel Hill Snippets

A small collection of Fall materials from Chapel Hill Snippets' Ruth Morgan (originally posted 9/3/13). Please visit her blog for more free, picture-supported and language-focused materials and printables, HERE.

As promised, here's a small collection of materials you could use for fall.  Halloween materials will come later.  Apple-themed materials are on another page.

Fall Leaves--printable book with icons 

A class project--make a fall leaf counting book!

Leaves Everywhere--printable book 

Five Red Leaves--printable 

Monday, September 23, 2013

PECS Phase Cheat Sheet

Pic from - Thanks!
For those of you engaged in a PECS protocol, a helpful cheat sheet care of DePaul University (with some additions/edits). This may not be trademark-worthy of PECS, but it works!
First conduct a reinforcer assessment- What the student likes to eat, drink, activities, social games, places, people, free time activities.

Phase One-  The Physical Exchange
Upon seeing a "highly preferred" item, the student will pick up a picture of the item, reach toward the trainer, and release the picture into the trainer's hand. Steps:
1.  Fully Assisted Exchange
2.  Fade Physical Assistance
3.  Fade the Open Hand Cue

Phase Two- Expanding Spontaneity
Objective:  The student goes to his/her communication board/book, pulls the picture off, goes to the adult, and releases the picture into the adult's hand. Steps:
1.  Remove Picture From Communication Board
2.  Increase Distance Between Trainer and Student
3.  Increase Distance Between Student and Picture

Phase Three-  Picture Discrimination
Objective: The student will request desired items by going to a communication board, selecting the appropriate picture from an array of pictures, going to a communication partner and giving the picture. Steps:
1.  Discrimination between preferred and non-preferred picture cards
2.  Correspondence Checks (* definition below)
3.  Discrimination between 2 preferred picture cards
4.  Discrimination between more than 2
5.  Reduced Picture Size

Phase Four-  Sentence Structure
Objective: The student requests present and non present items using a multi word phrase by going to the book, picking up a picture of "I want," putting it on a sentence strip, picking out the picture of what is wanted, putting it on the sentence strip, removing the strip from the communication board, approaching the communicative partner, and giving the sentence strip to him/her. Steps:
1.  Stationary "I want" picture (already on the sentence strip for the student)
2.  Moving the "I want" picture to the sentence strip
3.  Referents (preferred items) not in sight.

Phase Five- Responding to "What do you want?"
Objective:  The student can spontaneously request a variety of items and can answer the question, "What do you want?" Steps:
1.  Zero second delay – The communication partner begins simultaneously points to the “I want” card and asks “What do you want?”
2.  Increasing delay interval – ask “What do you want?” before pointing to the “I want” card
3.  No pointing cue.

Phase Six-  Responsive and Spontaneous Commenting
Objective:  The student appropriately answers "What do you want?"  "What do you see?"  "What do you have?"  and similar questions. Steps:
1.  What do you see? (with familiar, but not highly preferred items)
2.  Vary two question types (What do you see? vs. What do you want?) with both sentence starter cards present
3.  What do you have?
4.  What do you see?  vs. What do you want?  vs. What do you have?
5.  Additional questions
6.  Spontaneous requesting

* Correspondence check: Present two preferred items and have pictures of both available on the communication book. When the learner presents the communication partner with one picture, do not give the item and do not name the item. Offer both items and say, “Go ahead,” “Show me,” “Here,” or something similar. If the learner takes the item that corresponds with the picture presented, allow access, provide praise, and name the item. If the learner reaches for the other item, block access and begin an error-correction sequence for the picture that corresponds to the item reached for by the learner.

Error correction sequence:
Step 1. When the learner gives the wrong picture, the communication partner picks up the correct picture, shows it to the learner, and verbally labels it.
Step 2. When the learner looks at the picture, the communication partner prompts the learner to give the correct picture by holding out his/her hand near the picture, physically prompting if necessary.
Step 3. When the learner gives the correct picture, the communication partner verbally acknowledges the correct response, but does not give the learner the object. The communication partner follows with a non-related directive (e.g., “Touch your head.”).
Step 4. When the learner follows the directive, the communication partner entices him/her by interacting with the desired object.
Step 5. When the learner touches the correct picture, the communication partner provides verbal praise.

Step 6. When the learner gives the correct picture, the communication partner hands the desired object to the learner.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

JOBS! SF Bay Area

Immediate need for an AAC Specialist in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. This is an opportunity to join our team at the Speech Pathology Group and collaborate with a seasoned AAC Specialist and Assistive Technology Provider. Must be familiar with: 

  • A range of AAC devices and platforms (i.e. PRC, Saltillo, Tobii)
  • AAC apps for Mobile Tablets (i.e. TouchChat, Sonoflex, Proloquo2go)
  • A knowledge of alternate access (i.e. EyeGaze, Switch adaptations, Auditory Scanning)
  • Low and lite tech AAC (i.e. PECS, Boardmaker, VOCA)
  • Strong documentation and writing skills for AAC device funding
  • An ability to build capacity with the IEP Team for programming, effective use, and language facilitation with AAC
  • CFs with AAC coursework will be considered. Assistive Technology experience is a bonus!

The Speech Pathology Group has developed widespread recognition for providing quality diagnostic and intervention services. This is a direct result of its' unique employee mentoring program and strong, collaborative client relationships. There is opportunity for career advancement and professional growth.

Direct AAC questions to Kathy Beatty, M.A. CCC-SLP, AAC Specialist -

Ages 3-21 in a variety of schools
Full Time on a School Calendar
Certifications: CCC (Strong CF considered)Competitive Salary and Benefits 

Please contact: Mary Piermarini (925) 945-1474x129

    Thursday, September 19, 2013

    myDynaVox and Compass: Tablet and Cloud-Based AAC

    On Tuesday, DynaVox Inc. released their first app for the iPad. But this DynaVox Compass app is much more than just that! The Compass is able to link the DynaVox T10, a proprietary tablet solution featuring the all new DynaVox Compass software, the iPad app and the PC-based editing software so that the entire team has simultaneous, cloud-based access. With an array of options from context-dependent communicators to grammar-ready WordPower users (similar to Gateway), there are options in this app!

    DynaVox may finally have made it easy for SLPs to share customized pages between users. Register with MyDynavox and download the 30-day trial of DynaVox Compass today! Be aware that this app/platform in their full version are an annual subscription of $299, which sounds very tricky for those reliant on third-party purchasers! Currently DynaVox is running a special $99 introductory year's subscription, but BE ADVISED this does not include the WordPower page sets

    ...stay tuned for reviews...

    To learn more, please visit