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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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Minspeak E-Newsletter, Issue 94

  • Spread the Word: How do you create a core vocabulary culture?  Check out how they did it in Loudon County, VA.  The team of Christopher Bugaj, Peggy Fees, Sally Norton-Darr and Judith Schoonover shared their strategies at the recent ATIA Conference in Orlando.   Their resources are highlighted in the Spotlight section of this newsletter.
  • Bored? Games!:  Lotto is a simple, but fun game for practicing core vocabulary.  Gail Van Tatenhove's website includes visual support materials for this game, focusing on the verb "go" plus adverbs.  Use these materials as a template to make more of your own materials.
  • Appdapted for Core: My PlayHome Stores ($2.99) by Shimon Young is an interactive "felt board" that allows you to go shopping at different types of stores. There is a clothing store, ice cream shop, produce market, and a grocery store. There even an ATM where you can take out money.  The available characters include opportunities to target all pronouns and the different store settings allow you to target vocabulary such as more, get, go, make, give, plus many others! It's also convenient for children at all stages of language development. They can formulate simple utterances like "go in" or more complex utterances like "I want to go in there and get more please."  For more ideas on how to use this app to teach core vocabulary, check out Jeremy's blog post on
  • Pixons to Unity: Pixons can be used as teaching materials for picturing the metaphors behind Unity® icon sequences.  The word for this week is "how." Compare the Pixon for how  to the icon sequence . Teach the meaning of the word how using props, such as a hammer.  The metaphor is a rhyme: how-pow.  Bring in the concept of "wondering" by asking "how will we fix this?" or "how will we pound this in?"  Generalize the concept of how to new contexts, asking "how do it feel" or "how does this taste." 
  • Spotlight:  Kudos to Christopher Bugaj, Peggy Fees, Sally Norton-Darr and Judith Schoonover who did an incredible presentation at ATIA 2014 entitled Creating Core Vocabulary Culture: A Little Help From Our Friends.  Not only was it one of the engaging presentations at ATIA, but it was resource-rich!  Check out their link to, a social bookmarking website for tagged resources about Minspeakand core vocabulary.

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