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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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

FREE Webinar - Low Incidence Writing (Janet Sturm)

Can Low Incidence Students Become First-Time Writers? Learn How!
Dr. Janet Sturm
Thursday, May 8, 2014
11:00 am - 12:00 pm 
Central Daylight Time
Dr. Janet Sturm, Professor at Central Michigan University, will share stories about students who were never expected to write, like Antonio and Sean. Now, as teenagers, they are expressing themselves through writing, despite their various disabilities. Dr. Sturm will explain how she and the teachers at four Michigan schools helped their students learn to write. They introduced an innovative, student-friendly software tool, First Author Writing Software, that gets students excited about writing and also has a built-in new methodology, First Author Writing Measures, that helps teachers measure emergent writing progress. The students now proudly say, "I'm an author!"
Ph.D, CCC-SLP, Central Michigan University Professor. Additionally, Janet collaborated with Don Johnston in the development of First Author Software.
Participants must register to receive confirmation and login instructions.
Participation in this free, sponsored webinar is limited to the first 100 log-ins.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

AT Ideas on Pinterest

I have heard great things about Kelly Key, AT specialist in Illinois, and her fabulous ideas for classroom participation using AAC. In the curiosity process I ended up on her Pinterest page of AT Ideas. Take a look!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

PrAACtical AAC: You might be an AAC therapist if...

Read the full, hilarious list (and reader submissions in the comments), CLICK HERE, its great!

  • You peruse the dollar store muttering “What could I do with this?”
  • You squeal in delight when Amazon puts personal laminators on deep discount.
  • You find yourself wanting to point to symbols when you talk to friends and family.
  • You buy velcro if you see a good deal, even if you don’t need it.
  • You’ve seriously considered making a voodoo doll in the image of the insurance person who issued the most recent denial of coverage.
  • You have an Allen wrench at the bottom of your purse.
  • You have an un-natural fondness for clip art and Creative Commons.
  • You’d rather sit in a great conference presentation than go to see the latest movie.
  • You can think of a dozen ways to make page fluffers.
  • You’re so ‘over’ goals for making eye contact.

AT 101 - Van Nuys (Free for Parents)

Assistive Tech Webinars in May 2014

Assistive Technology Implementation: The Basics (K-12)
Thursday, May 1, 2014
11 AM Pacific, 2 PM Eastern, from AbleNet 

Web Accessibility: What it is and Why it is Important to Your Univ. Program
Thursday, May 1, 2014
12 PM Pacific, 2 PM Eastern, from AUCD

Controlling the Environment: Switches and Mounting for Access
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 
10 AM Pacific, 1 PM Eastern, from AbleNet

Access to the Core Standards for Students with Significant Intellectual Disabilities
Thursday, May 8th, 2014
12 PM Pacific, 3 PM Eastern, from Georgia Tech's Tools for Life 

Administrative Support of AT Services 
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
9:30 AM Pacific, 12:30 PM Eastern, from AbleNet

App Webinar from PRC - Growing Language

Apps to Help Grow Language

"An excellent course for teachers, SLPs, and families who want to teach functional language in fun ways." - Vicky M.
This course focuses on how to use fun and engaging apps to help an individual learn core words and learn how to put words together on an augmentative/alternative communication (AAC) device. Apps that can be used to target the following language objectives will be reviewed: 1) directing activities with verbs and prepositions, 2) describing with adjectives, and 3) making comments with interjections. In addition, common core standards and extension activities related to these apps and language objectives will be discussed. Direct instruction and app demonstration will be used to cover these principles.
This is a beginner to intermediate course for those who are implementing AAC systems. This course is intended for those who work with emerging and intermediate communicators who use AAC devices. 
Learning Objectives:
Participants will learn to:
  • Identify apps that target core vocabulary and teach individuals how to direct activities, describe, and make comments. 
  • Describe ways to use apps to increase single word core vocabulary.
  • Identify which Common Core State Standards relate to these language objectives.
  • Name one extension activity related to each goal.
This program is offered for 0.1 CEUs (Introductory level, Professional area). See course handouts for instructions and the ASHA CEU Participant form.
Content level: Beginner

  • April 30, 2014 (Wednesday), 3:00pm to 4:00pm EST
  • Price: $35.00
We Believe Everyone Deserves a Voice™

More Online Trainings from PRC
PRC is proud to offer web-based training courses.  All courses are taught in English and times shown are Eastern Standard Time (EST).

•  AAC Evaluations:  Painting a Successful SubmissionCost:  $35.00
•  Ten Tips to Help Grow LanguageCost:  $49.00
•  Apps to Help Grow LanguageCost:  $35.00
•  Getting Beyond Basic RequestingCost:  $35.00
•  Vocabulary Builder in the Classroom: Applications for 
   Speaking, Reading and Writing
Cost:  $35.00
•  Using Early Language Development to Guide AAC InterventionCost:  $35.00
•  Unity:  Vocabulary Review and PracticeCost:  Free
•  LAMP Words for Life (WFL):  Vocabulary Review and PracticeCost:  Free
• Accent, ECO2, and Vantage Lite:  Operations and ProgrammingCost:  Free
•  Words for Life NOVA Edition: Operations and ProgrammingCost:  Free
Please visit the "Training" section of PRC's website.  New trainings are always being added.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Communication Supports Inventory- Children & Youth (CSI-CY)

WHAT IS THIS? The Communication Supports Inventory-Children and Youth (CSI-CY) is a FREE ONLINE TOOL THAT GENERATES A REPORT that was designed to make goal writing easier for teachers and speech-language pathologists who work with students who rely on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to communicate effectively. By itself, it is not an assessment, but rather a guide (rating scale for 126 items) to organize your understanding of the impact of a student’s communication strengths and limitations on participation at school and home. 

The CSI-CY consists of an Inventory (printable in PDF, CLICK HERE) and a Report generated from your ratings on the 126 items.
Excerpt of the "report" generated by the questionnaire
CSI-CY? WHO? Yes, exactly, WHO (World Health Organization) developed the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health-Children and Youth Version (ICF-CY) in 2007 to provide a global common language for describing the impact of health conditions and disabilities on human functioning. The CSI-CY uses that same global common language.

SO, WHAT’S THE POINT? It’s all about the student’s participation in life at school and home! The CSI-CY 
  • (a) identifies major areas in which the child’s participation is restricted because of communication limitations; 
  • (b) identifies and qualifies limitations in communication and specific functional impairments that affect communication; 
  • (c) identifies environmental facilitators and barriers that affect communication, and 
  • (d) provides a list of high priority areas of concern that are potential IEP goals.
WHAT DO I GET? After completing the Inventory you will generate the Report that provides a list of high priority concerns that might be addressed in IEP goals for your student. You can save your student's Report and the entire Inventory with your responses on your computer.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE? First, you complete the 126-item Inventory, which takes about 30 minutes. You will see a progress bar at the bottom of each page that shows what portion has been completed. Then you can generate the Report-a prioritized list of concerns that you should consider addressing in IEP goals.

SO HOW DO I START? Fill out the Inventory, then complete the Report to prioritize the items of concern for consideration in the student’s IEP. When you finish, you will be able to print or download a pdf of the student's CSI-CY Inventory and Report.

Thanks to Sandra Steiner on the ASHA Community SIG 12 message board for the CSI-CY tip!

Other places for help with goals (thanks Gloria Soto): 

(1) The AAC Profile by Tracy Kovach and available through Linguisystems ($69.95).
(2) The Dynamic AAC Goal Grid available for FREE.
(3) The Augmentative and Alternative Communication: Skills and Strategies available for FREE.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

FREE April AT Webinars

Thanks to ATC for putting this list together!

Free AT webinars from UTAC, AbleNet, Georgia Tech & MITS.

Professional Development and Training in AT
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
9:30 AM Pacific, 12:30 PM Eastern from AbleNet

Eligibility requirements for getting assistive technology
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
2 PM Pacific, 5 PM Eastern from the Utah Assistive Technology Program (UATP)

Data Review – Will This AT Be Appropriate Next Year?
April 17, 2014
3:30 PM Pacific, 6:30 PM Eastern from MITS

What Administrators Need to Know about Assistive Technology
Tuesday, April 22 2014
11 AM Pacific, 2 PM Eastern from AbleNet

Exploring Apps for the Classroom and Transition
Tuesday, April 22 2014
12 PM Pacific, 3 PM Eastern from Georgia Tech's Tools for Life

Using Low Tech to Support Literacy Learning
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
11 AM Pacific, 2 PM Eastern from AbleNet

How to Control a Speech Generating Device Through the Power Wheelchair Drive Method
Tuesday, April 29 2014
8 AM Pacific, 11 AM Eastern from AbleNet 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

FREE Webinar on Clicker apps - TODAY! (and again in May...)


From: April 08, 2014
To: April 08, 2014


Combining classic Clicker features with the latest classroom technology, our Clicker Apps give your students access to proven literacy support tools developed specifically for the iPad. Each app focuses on one key aspect of Clicker 6 and has a child-friendly, designed-for-touch interface appropriate for learners across the elementary age range.

During this free 1 hour web session, our Education Consultant will demonstrate:

  • Clicker Sentences - Understanding sentences and how they work is animportant part of early literacy. If you are working with emergent writers, English language learners, or older children struggling to acquire basic literacy skills, Clicker Sentences will enable them to produce work they can be proud of while learning the key skills necessary for independent writing.
  • Clicker Docs - Clicker Docs transforms the iPad into a portable elementary word processor! Watch your students’ skills and confidence grow as they use the range of writing support tools offered in the app to create accurate, flowing documents.
  • Clicker Connect - A perfect ‘next step’ for Clicker Sentences users, Clicker Connect provides students with clusters of words, phrases, and/or pictures to help them build coherent text.
The webinar will take place from 3:30 – 4:30 pm Eastern (12:30-1:30 Pacific).
If you can't participate today, this webinar will be reprised on May 29th. 
MORE free Clicker webinars are available. CLICK HERE to read more...

Friday, April 4, 2014

Webinar (4/8/14) Gateway & DynaVox Compass with Joan Bruno

Next week, Joan Bruno will be hosting a live webinar on Tuesday April 8that 5:00 pm ET (2:00 Pacific).  This session will provide an overview of the revised and updated Gateway to Language and Learning (Gateway©) page sets for the DynaVox T10 and DynaVox Compass App.   
 History:  Gateway was created by Dr. Joan Bruno, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, in 1997 to help Frankie, a boy with cerebral palsy, learn how to use AAC to communicate and to achieve academic requirements.  Gateway is comprised of single words that can be joined together to create longer messages.  Over the years, Dr. Bruno has added to and changed Gateway to reflect a variety of developmental levels, types of communicators, and changes in technology.
Description:                                          Description:
 To join the live training, please visit the following link:    Gateway for DynaVox Compass Software
Participants will learn about:
(1) changes to the Gateway Paradigm
(2) new text page sets
(3) updates to symbols and vocabulary
(4) additions to the Theme pages
*Key features of the pageset will also be described in order to help participants make informed decisions about which Gateway version best meets the needs of the targeted user. 
Have a great weekend,
Amy Hlad
AAC Consultant South Los Angeles/Orange County
DynaVox Mayer-Johnson

Thursday, April 3, 2014

iOS 7 and The New Blue2 Switch from AbleNet

Never before has a mobile operating system come with such a powerful switch accessibility tool-set built directly into the operating system. And now, the New Blue2 from AbleNet is the perfect tool to provide the access you need to access the iPad. 

Touch, swipes and taps can be difficult, if not impossible, for individuals with physical limitations to use the device. In addition, the majority of the available apps were not created with switch accessibility in mind. Now, Apple’s iOS 7 accessibility feature, Switch Control, used in conjunction with the Blue2 switch from AbleNet makes access to all apps possible for switch users. 

Watch the AbleNet iOS 7 Blue2 instructional videos to learn more:

Angry Birds Demo Video
App with switch access built into the app
Single Switch Auto Scanning
Two Switch Step Scanning
Click here to download the iOS 7 Missing Manual
Click here to download iDevice Mounting Options

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Training: Sounding Board Crash Course (4/28/14)

Dates Offered: April 28th, 2014 from 3-4:30 p.m.
Cost: $35/per person
Presented by: Randi Wasano, Speech-Language Pathologist

  • Overview of the features of Sounding Board
  • Implications for using Sounding Board
  • Creating, editing, and linking boards
  • Switch scanning and other options within Sounding Board

For more information and to register, please contact Lauren Wetzler at or 714.361.6200 x226. Space is limited, register now!

Lauren Wetzler
Manager, Assistive Technology Exchange Center (ATEC)
Goodwill of Orange County
1601 East Saint Andrew Place, Santa Ana, CA 92705

FREE Apps for Autism Awareness Day (4/2/14) & Month

World Autism Awareness Day is Wednesday, 4/2/14, and April is Autism Awareness Month! And to celebrate, many apps that may appeal to learners with autism will be discounted or FREE.

Take a look at the apps listed below - most are FREE or discounted in April, but check the Apps Store before you buy.

Search for these fun, creative play apps FREE in the App Store (limited date spans for download):
Other FREE or discounted apps for autism...
Hamaguchi's Fun with Directions, was 15.99 now 9.99!
All Hamaguchi Apps for language development are discounted for Autism this month of April. Take a look!

A.L.L. Autism Language Learning is on sale (19.99 down from 26.99)


(Regularly $6.99)
Create Schedule Boards (with up to eight steps and an all done column), Waiting Boards (timer), and Feelings Board (express emotion).  

More than 180 images and audio or create your own. 

Words for Life
1/2 Price April 2 only!
For individuals with autism, this augmentative and alternative communication app utilizes Language Acquisition through Motor Planning strategies to enable them to communicate by providing a consistent motor pattern for words. 


(Regularly $24.99)
Learn to answer wh-questions based on the part of speech (Ex: When is always a "time"). 

This app can collect data to help demonstrate mastery of IEP goals.

Look for lists of additional apps for FREE on 4/2/14 and some for the entire month of April.

Don't forget to download the Light It Up Blue app for yourself this month (also FREE).