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 24, 2014

Assistive Tech Trainings from ATEC

Training from ATEC
To register or for more information please contact Lauren Wetzler at (714) 361-6200 x226 or  Space is limited, registration is required. 

Proloquo2Go Crash Course
A Professional Development Workshop 
Presented by: Randi Wasano, M.A., CCC-SLP, certified Proloquo2Go trainer
When: Thursday, February 27th, 2014 from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Cost: $125
Description: Everything you wanted to know about Proloquo2Go! Topics covered include; getting started, adding and editing vocabulary, options, tips and tricks and much more!
Spaces still available, registration is required. Reserve your spot now!
Word Prediction Apps for the iPad that Support Writing
A Professional Development Workshop
Presented by: Kevin Daugherty, Rehabilitation Engineer, AT Professional
When: Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 from 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Cost: $35
Description: Participants will learn how to use the Co:Writer, iWordQ and iReadWrite apps, how word prediction apps support the writing process, and implementation strategies for school and home.  
Sounding Board Crash Course
A Professional Development Workshop
Presented by: Randi Wasano, M.A., CCC-SLP
When: Monday, April 28th, 2014 from 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Cost: $35
Description: Overview the features of the Sounding Board app, implications for using Sounding Board, creating editing, linking boards, switch scanning and other options within Sounding Board.
Individualized Workshops & Trainings for Organizations
The clinical and technical staff at ATEC can provide individualized workshops and trainings on specific areas of assistive technology for your organization! Topics include, but not limited to;  Introduction to AT, Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC), iDevices and Apps, Microsoft Accessibility, and specific AT equipment and software, such as Dragon, ZoomText, JAWS, and much more.
Contact Lauren Wetzler at or (714) 361-6200 ext. 226 to inquire about an individualized workshop or training for your organization.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Save the Date & Submit Questions: Spring Quarterly Meeting 5/20/14

The topic of our Spring SoCal AAC Network meeting will be "Ask an Expert: AAC Assessment." And we need your questions! AAC Experts from near and far will be asked to weigh in on their assessment process from referral to scheduling, tips, tricks, resources, and pitfalls. Answers will be released on May 20th at our quarterly meeting in Pasadena, CA and May 21st online at

Here are some initial questions: (but we want to hear from you, too!)
  • How should I prepare candidates for an AAC evaluation? What should parents do? What should teachers do? What can the speech therapist do? to help the candidate shine when the evaluator comes calling.
  • What models/timelines/flowcharts have you seen for the referral process? In school districts, private clinics, through regional center, in hospitals...
  • What models/timelines/flowcharts do you use for your assessment activities (both indirect and direct)?
  • What can SLPs, SLPAs, and teachers do today to get more AAC into the hands of students that could benefit?

Submit your burning AAC Assessment questions for our experts before March 14th one of three ways:
- Confidentially via email to, enter "Expert" in the subject line 
- Facebook Message to SoCal AAC
- By leaving your comment HERE (link at the tail of this post)

We will host a live panel of experts to take this conversation further on 5/20/14 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Pasadena, CA. Don't miss it!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

LA Abilities Expo - FREE Admission (2/28-3/2)

The Annual LA Abilities Expo 2014 is next weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) at the Los Angeles Convention Center (There is no charge for admission so pre-register today, then come and see:
    Visit as often as possible to check out new show features. Or start the conversation now on our Abilities Expo Facebook Page, follow us on Twitter and sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.
    Click here for directions and parking information.

    Monday, February 17, 2014

    Gateway Vocabs from TouchChat

    A tale of two Gateways...

    Over the last two years every last one of my Dynavox users have abandoned or rejected their Vs and Maestros for iPads. My boys all happen to have autism and use direct selection to access their devices (i.e., no scanning or eye gaze technology required) so that the transition in hardware was a no-brainer. Lighter, cooler, and more reliable - the iPads have been a huge hit with the guys.  

    This change in system required that the boys move from their Gateway vocabularies to our school's modified TouchChat WordPower 42 vocabulary. But NO MORE! TouchChat now has Gateway vocabularies for sale (an add on of $149.99) in their Upgrade Store to ease the path for any future converts. "Gateway is a developmentally based set of core word vocabularies enabling efficient message formation by children-adults." Below is a side-by-side of the two Home pages. 

    Dynavox Gateway 40                         TouchChat Gateway Child 40

    While a transition to a TouchChat Gateway will present the user with new symbols (TouchChat uses SymbolStix, Dynavox uses a combination of PCS symbols and Dynasyms) the layout and navigation paths remain relatively unchanged.  My eyes are drawn to the TouchChat's distinct lack of a Talk pop-up (white) the My Tabs folder (red), "more" and the delete word button. That's no good?! Available vocabularies include: 

    • Child 12, 20, 40, 66
    • Teen 20, 30, 40
    • Adult 66 

    From the Vocabulary list page, the Menu button takes you to the Upgrade Store.
    Read more about this new development and also the Pixon vocabularies also available from TouchChat, READ MORE HERE.

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    Assessment that Drives AAC System Development (Live Chat at

    These events are live online chats with a panel of experts using a live-event publishing platform,CoverItLive. Participants type questions in a chat box and the panelists type responses to the questions that will be published in real time. You can view the replays of past online chats below to get a sense for how a live online chat functions. There is no audio for these events.

    Assessment that Drives AAC System Development

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

    8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m. ET (5:00-7:00 PT)

    Hosted by Special Interest Group 12, Augmentative and Alternative Communication

    This live chat event covers assessment issues, strategies, and tools to guide selection for and development of a person’s AAC system. These experts will answer the question: How do you assess someone for an AAC system?
    • Mary Ann Abbott, SLP.D., CCC-SLP, ATP, Speech-Language Pathologist, AT/AAC Consultant, Ontario Montclair School District; Adjunct Faculty, Communication Disorders Program, California State University, Los Angeles
    • Celeste Helling, MA, CCC-SLP, ATP, Speech-Language Pathologist, North Carolina Assistive Technology Program, Charlotte, NC
    • Angela Standridge, MA, CCC-SLP, ATP, Education Specialist, Special Education Services, Region 4 Education Service Center, Houston, TX
    This free event is open to all ASHA members (must be an ASHA member to participate; it is NOT offered for CEU credits).
    Details on where to go to participate TBA! (I will re-post closer to the 3/11/14 date of the chat)

    iPads as AAC Devices: Multiple Disabilities (Cindy Cottier, ASHA Live Webinar)

    iPads as AAC Devices: Tools for Children with Multiple Disabilities (Live Webinar, 3/12/14)

    iPads as AAC Devices: Tools for Children with Multiple Disabilities (Live Webinar)

    Author: Cynthia Cottier, MA, MEd, CCC-SLP

    This session will demonstrate how to provide a functional AAC communication system for children with multiple disabilities using various iPad applications. The apps are designed for children ranging from limited communication abilities to moderate levels of communication. In addition, use of these apps using direct access, single switch, and 2-switch step scanning will be discussed.
    Note: iPads are used exclusively in this session; Android devices will not be discussed
    Learning Objectives:
    You will be able to:
    • Select an appropriate application that will allow the iPad to be used as a direct selection AAC device
    • Select an appropriate application that will allow the iPad to be used as a scanning selection AAC device
    • Identify the components that are necessary to allow the use of 1 or 2 switches to access the communication application on the iPad.
    Group Registration Note: A group registration entitles you to one Web or telephone connection to this program. Any number of people may listen and earn ASHA CEUs on that connection. The person who will act as site leader for the broadcast should register on behalf of the group. After registering, the site leader will be able to download seminar instructions, handouts, and CEU materials. The site leader needs to have, or create, a login to the ASHA Web site.
    Live Broadcast: March 12, 2014 (1:00 - 2:30 p.m. ET, 10:00-11:30 a.m. PT)
    Last day to register for Live broadcast: March 12, 2014, 9:00 a.m.
    • What is a Web Seminar? Learn more.
    • Can your computer run a Web Seminar? Consult the PC Checklist.
    • To order the On Demand version of this program, click here.

    Earn 0.15 CEUs (1.5 professional development hours).

    Monday, February 10, 2014

    FREE Webinars Tomorrow & Wed. from AbleNet

    Tuesday, 02/11/2014

    Padmaja Sarathy MA, Author and Educational ConsultantDesigning Your Treasure Chest of Tools to Advance Children With Significant Needs
    In this final session in this series on advancing outcomes for children with severe and multiple disabilities, you will learn how to provide a variety of support tools to maximally involve your students in learning and strengthen their concept-knowledge to reach desired outcomes. Based on the research-supported Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles, the tools in the treasure chest will offer various formats to increase student access to learning and opportunities for them to respond in non-traditional ways. The following tools will be included: 
       • Interactive Books 
       • Comprehension-Story Organizer Tools 
       • Response-Participation Tools 
       • A Object-based Daily Calendar and Activity Schedule
       • Adapted Stamp and Gloves 

    • Time: 11:00 AM to 11:45 AM CST
    • Presenter: Padmaja Sarathy MA, Author and Educational Consultant
    • Level: Beginner

    Register for webinar

    Archived webinars are also available 24/7
    Free recorded webinars

    Wednesday, 02/12/2014

    Jane and Terry QIAT PresentersQIAT Session 6: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of AT
    This QIAT area addresses the evaluation of the effectiveness of the AT devices and services provided to individual students. It includes data collection, documentation and analysis to monitor changes in student performance resulting from the implementation of assistive technology services. Student performance is reviewed in order to identify if, when, or where modifications and revisions to the AT implementation plan are needed. 

    • Time: 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM CST
    • Presenter: Jane Korsten & Terry Foss of 
    • Level: Beginner/Intermediate
    Register for webinar

    Sunday, February 9, 2014

    Apps for Independence Webinar (2/27/14, $55)

    Link to more information & registration - HERE

    Winter Quarterly Meeting - Tues. 2/18/14

    SCAAC-N Winter Quarterly Meeting, 2014

    "Assessment to Outcomes, Part I - Autism"

    Join us for our FREE, networking and information meeting on Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 where Gwendolyn Meier, SLP of Villa Esperanza Services will reprise her presentation "AAC in ASD: Two Journeys from Assessment to Outcomes" from ATI 2014, sharing two recent case studies. Come and hear about the path that a female high school student with ASD is traveling toward a robust communication system and also the unexpected route an elementary student followed from no-tech to high-tech in two short years.

    Where: Villa Esperanza Services, 2116 E. Villa Street, Pasadena, CA 91107
                 Brick building on the corner of Craig Ave. Street parking available.
    When:  Tuesday, February 18 - 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    Cost:    FREE! as always. Snacks and beverages are provided.

    Please RSVP by Monday, February 17th, to so we can have a chair, handout, and snacks for you and your colleagues...

    Hope to see you Feb 18th in Pasadena!

    Thursday, February 6, 2014

    Google in Education West Coast Summit, Palm Springs, 3/22-23

    After the close of the CUE Conference (3/20-22) stay for the Google in Education West Coast Summit (Sat-Sun; 3/22-23).

    As campuses across the globe adopt Google solutions to support student learning, powerful and affordable professional development is essential. Join us for an engaging summit focused on infusing Google in Education in K-20 environments. CUE’s Professional Learning Program will provide two keynotes and dozens of sessions with hands-on activities led by Google Certified Teachers and Google Apps Certified Trainers, including instructional strategies with ties to Common Core. All attendees will be invited to the Google Workshops for Educators Network (GWEN), an online community focused on supporting educators as they learn more about the power of Google to drive student learning 

    CUE Conference, Palm Springs 3/20-22 (Thurs-Sat)

    Keynotes: Sal Khan, LeVar Burton and Dan Meyer

    CUE (Computer Using Educators), Inc. is a professional organization of educators that supports the use of technology in education. For over 30 years, technology-using educators have been meeting at the CUE Conferences to advance student achievement at all levels of education and to address the use of Education Technology in instruction, administration, curriculum and management. 

    Who Should Attend?
    Classroom teachers, administrators, library media teachers, higher education, school board members, technology leaders, IT professionals, parents and those who support CUE’s mission of advancing  student achievement through technology. Students 16 and over are welcome to register.

    Come for the conference, stay for the Google in Education West Coast Summit (3/22-23; Sat-Sun)...

    SoCal K-12 AT Network Mailing List

    Join the mailing list for the SoCal K-12 AT Network (not to be confused with SCAAC-N). This new(ish) group that meets monthly in Alhambra with presentations and a forum for sharing for K-12 AT personnel from San Diego to San Bernadino to Ventura. This group was started over a year ago by Susan Simmons (CA Diagnostic Center) and friends and is a great place to meet, share, and learn hosted by Jenn Park, AT Specialist, at the West San Gabriel Valley SELPA offices.

    The next meeting of the SoCal K-12 AT Network will be March 27 at 9:00 a.m. (15 W. Alhambra Rd) with a presentation on "Systems and Strategies for Integrating AAC in the Classroom" by Sharon Redner, SLP (Ventura County Office of Ed, Adaptive Tech Center).

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

    FREE Special Ed Conference, South Pasadena (3/1/14)

    While not an AAC event, per se, the 3rd annual South Pasadena Special Needs Conference is free half day of sessions and vendors that is open to the public of parents, professionals, and carers thirsty for information...

    Click HERE for specifics