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, October 28, 2014

AAC Tip #10 from SDUSD

Thanks to the Assistive Technology team at San Diego Unified for sharing their AAC tips! Look back at each Tuesday's tip for all 10.

TIP: Use Post-Its
  • When Use Post-It reminders to write down vocabulary items the student can be encouraged to say during an activity (for the student's sake as much as the adults around him or her!).

Monday, October 27, 2014

PRC & Saltillo Donate 3 SGDs! Neat.

PRC & Saltillo Corporation Donate Speech-Generating Devices To Three Children with Speech Disabilities
Employee Owners of Leading Assistive Technology Companies 
Celebrate ESOP Month by Giving Gifts of Communication

The employee owners of PRC and its subsidiary Saltillo Corporation, two leading manufacturers of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices, are celebrating Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Month in October by donating over $17,000 in communication devices to three children with speech disabilities who lack insurance coverage for an AAC device.
Five-year-old Ryann Franz of Chesapeake City, Maryland, has low muscle tone, or hypotonia, which makes speaking or using sign language extremely difficult.  She is one of only two individuals in the world diagnosed with a rare genetic mutation.  Ryann was presented with a Saltillo NOVA chat 10 plus device that is designed to help children acquire and use language skills.
Delany Dowdy, a first grader from Pleasant View, Tennessee, has speech and language delays, hearing loss, and an articulation disorder that make it difficult for her to be understood.  She received a PRC Accent 1000, a powerful speech-generating device preloaded with Unity®, a proprietary language system that supports robust communication and language development.
Eleven-year-old Ryan Hudson of Blackwood, New Jersey, who is largely nonverbal as a result of autism, was selected to receive a PRC Words for Life NOVA Edition, which features an 84-location vocabulary and supports Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP), an approach pioneered by PRC that has proven successful for those with autism.

$100 off AT 101 in Scottsdale, AZ

Save $100 on AT 101 Training
December 1-2, 2014. Assistive Technology 101 is a two-day, hands-on workshop for those working in an educational or clinical setting helping individuals with disabilities utilize assistive technology to achieve their educational goals and live fulfilling and productive lives. Register for our workshop in the Scottsdale Metro area and receive $100 off (use the promo code to reduce the price from $299 to $199)! Seats are limited, so don’t miss out on this great opportunity to increase your assistive technology knowledge and earn 1.3 RESNA certified CEUs.

AbleNet has received permission to offer 1.3 RESNA CEUs for this course.

Use promo code AT101SMR during checkout.

CLICK HERE to Register and Watch Video of what folks are saying about this workshop.
AT 101 Two Day Agenda
Day 1 - December 1, 2014 (Thursday)
• Overview: Orientation to learning tools, AT cycle, universal design,
  universal design for learning, QIAT, and SETT
• Access: Exploration of a variety of access tools including switches,
  computers, and tablets
• AIM: How to develop and deliver effective curriculum materials
• AAC: Low tech to mid-tech to high-tech
• AAC: Develop learning plans
• Q&A

Day 2 - December 2, 2014 (Friday)
• Mobile Technology: Everyday tech as AT, web 2.0 tools, apps, and built in
  accessibility features
• Literacy: Tools and strategies for reading, writing, and math
• AT for Sensory: Supports and tools for individuals who are visually
  impaired or hard of hearing
• AT for Social Integration: Tools and strategies for individuals with
  developmental disabilities and transition into the community, work, or post-   secondary education
• AT Trials & Implementation: Strategies to implement AT and QIAT tools
• Personal Learning Network
• Q&A

Saturday, October 25, 2014

101+ Ideas - Links

I love it when others do your work for you! Taking a look at the AAC in the Desert line up (Feb 15-17, Phoenix, AZ; early bird registration through Jan 16) I stumbled across a document online - "101 Ways to Use a Step by Step" by Gretchen Hanser, with great ideas for social scripts, literacy, play, and also ideas for the toy/appliance function. 

A borrowed description of Step by Step communicators (aka. sequential message communication devices): These are simple devices that let you record messages in segments and then replay them in that same order. The initial activation of the device speaks the first part of the message aloud and then stops. When you activate the device again, it plays the second part, and so on. Download the 101+ list in PDF, HERE.

Here are more ideas from Carole Zangari at on sequential message devices and apps, LINK HERE.

This reminded me of a list of communication ideas I once saw for the Big Mack (single message voice output button). These also apply to the Little Mack, of course. 

Here is one such list from Ablenet. Fantastic! Download PDF, HERE.
Link to Ablenet, HERE

Here's another list from CENMAC. Download PDF, HERE.

Still more ideas gathered by Barbara Solomonson, SLP, HERE.

Looking down the results list a little further, I came across a remarkable collection from TalkSense, also for Big Mack. Take a look at the Ideas, Suggestions and Problem Solving section (starts bottom of pg. 3) and its wealth of uses as a switch, creative locations for various points of access, prompting ideas, as well as communicative ones. Download PDF, HERE. 

And may I add - No naked switches! That is to say that giving the purpose of the switch and defining its meaning using text or symbol is an important element of teaching switch success. Read more ideas as great as this one from Kelly Fonner in this doc, LINK HERE.

Break out the single message VOCAs and try out some of these. Leave a comment with your favorites.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mark Your Calendars: LAMP in Lodi (Jan 2015)

Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP)
An AAC strategy for teaching language and communication using iPads and speech generating devices.
2-day Lodi, CA Workshop: January 13-14, 2015

Course Description: Language Acquisition Through Motor Planning (LAMP) is an augmentative alternative communication (AAC) approach designed to give individuals who are non-verbal or have limited verbal abilities a method of independently and spontaneously expressing themselves through the use of a voice output communication device. LAMP was initially developed to give non-verbal individuals with autism a means of communication but can be adapted to benefit individuals with a variety of disabilities. The components of LAMP address the features and vocabulary available on the device as well as the method of teaching communication while taking into account the individual’s sensory needs. Topics to be covered include:
     ►     The 5 components of LAMP: readiness to learn, joint engagement, and pairing unique and consistent motor plan with auditory output and a natural response.
     ►     The role of motor learning in language 
development and AAC fluency
     ►     Device features that support implementation

     ►     Choosing and teaching vocabulary

     ►     Introduction to the Words for Life AAC 
iPad app and vocabulary file for PRC devices

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Rett Syndrome Educators Network: iPad APPS for Play and Learning

Please mark your calendars for 11/4/14 for 8 pm eastern (5 pm pacific); Susan H. Norwell M.A. will present, “iPads APPS for Play and Learning.”  More details to come!
Visit for more.
Thank you!
Jennifer Endres
Family Resource Manager

AAC Tip #9 from SDUSD

Thanks to the Assistive Technology team at San Diego Unified for sharing their AAC tips!

TIP: Use an agenda
  • Use a visual schedule as an agenda for AAC practice. A small dry erase board and text or line drawings will do!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Free Upcoming Webinars

October 2014 
atc logo header length
Dear SoCal AAC-Network,

We bring you all the free online events we can find. Most of these require pre-registration, so visit the link to see if sign up is required.

Free Webinars (scroll over for links)

iPad: Accessibility from SETC in WA
Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 3:30 PM Pacific, 6:30 PM Eastern

How Visual Learning Software Can Create Personalized Learning Environments
from Georgia Project for AT
Thursday October 9 2014 at12 PM Pacific, 3 PM Eastern

Advocating for Your Rights & Acquiring AT from the CA Dept. of Rehabilitation
from AbilityTools (formerly
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at 10:30 AM Pacific, 1:30 PM Eastern        

AT for Common Core College & Career Readiness for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities from AbleNet
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 4:30 PM Pacific, 7:30 PM Eastern

Sorting through AAC Options (Apps / Devices): Making Educated Choices from AbleNet
Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 12 PM Pacific, 3 PM Eastern

Exploring Transition Service Plan Technology Supports from Georgia Project for AT
Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 12 PM Pacific, 3 PM Eastern

Google Chrome as Assistive Technology from Texas AT Network
10/28/2014 at 9 AM Pacific, 12 PM Eastern

K-12 Teachers may also want to look at the 14 other webinars from the Special Ed. Technology Center in WA, held at 3:30 PM Pacific, 6:30 PM Eastern. Topics include iPad apps for fine motor, augmentative communication, and resources for autism.

Developers: EASI is planning 2 webinars on Creating and Testing for Accessible Apps in iOS and Android. Dates to be announced.

Transition of Interest? The Maryland AT Network has three sessions on Apps to Support a Successful Transition (10/1, 10/30, and 11/3, at Noon Pacific, 3 PM Eastern.)

Recent Archived Events

Android is Accessible. Really. "Quick start guide" to accessibility services, settings, and apps routinely used by the eyes-free Android community. From ADA Online Learning.

Accessing Your iPad With A Switch from the ALS Association.

AT for Reading Accommodations:From Low Tech to High–Tech from Learning Ally, presented by Kirk Behnke and Mike Marotta.

iOS8 Access News

Guide to Accessibility of iOS8: all disabilities.
Top 8  Features of iOS8 for blind and hearing impaired users.

Free Apps of Possible Interest

Fleksy: A faster keyboard for iOS and Android. Better word prediction.
AnyDo: Task list, calendar, and more. iOS and Android. Voice or text input.
Claro MagX: Magnifier for iPhone, iPad. High definition.

Click here to like us on Facebook and get late additions to the webinar calendar. And share your own AT news!The Accessible Technology Coalition is a volunteer & grant-funded project, started with ARRA funds through the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) who is working minimize the Digital Divide in California.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Attend Tuesday's Meeting Online! Finally!!


For the very first time we will be using ZOOM Cloud Meetings in order for participants to join an audio version of our Fall Quarterly Meeting via their computer, iPad, iPhone Android, or by phone. Zoom is simple and easy to use; I tested it on 3 platforms and found it very user friendly. Here are the steps to use Zoom to join Tuesday's meeting (10/21, 6:30-8:30 Pacific Time):

PC or Mac

  • (Allow 15 minutes)
  • Navigate to in your browser
  • Click on Join a Meeting in the header bar
  • Enter the meeting ID: 315 249 599
  • Follow the prompts to install (FREE; 10 MB, ~5 min to install - may need to approve pop-ups for this site)
  • Click on Continue in the pop-up and you're in! 
iPad, iPhone, Android

  • (Allow 10 minutes)
  • Search ZOOM Cloud Meetings in the app store (FREE; 16 MB, ~5 min to install)
  • Click OPEN and Join an Meeting at the bottom of the screen
  • Enter the meeting ID: 315 249 599, and you're in!
The plan for Tuesday is to host with ONLY audio from the meeting in order and to post after the fact in order to share visuals that are presented. Be advised that your bandwidth ma affect the quality of the stream. 

By Phone

  • Call into the meeting at one of these numbers: +1 (415) 762-9988 or +1 (646) 568-7788 normal tolls will apply
  • Meeting ID: 315 249 599
  • International numbers available, check in advance:

Many thanks to SCAAC-Networker Yen Walter, SLP, for the tip to try Zoom! We will all cross our fingers that the technology gods are on our side on Tuesday. See you then.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

AAC Conference - 11/15/14, 9:00-1:00 (Redlands)

Autism:  Technology & Communication

November 15 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm | University of Redlands

For educators, professionals and families that have individuals that do not have a lot of verbalcommunication (do not talk to express basic needs and wants).  

This year's speaker will be national speaker, Gwendolyn Meier Eberhard, CCC-SLP, MT-BC, Director of Speech and Language, Speech-Language Pathologist, Music Therapist at Villa Esperanza Services in Pasadena.  Topics addressed will include:

  • Difference of using apps vs AAC
  • Apps that  help with language development
  • Other visual supports that can be used
  • "Speaking AAC" to the learner so that they may then (and only then) learn to "speak AAC" to us. Incorporating aided language modeling into school and home routines and activities 
Cost will be $20 pp before Nov 1st; $25 pp after.  Click here to register. 

JOBS! Full-time AAC SLP needed in L.A.

So. Cal. Full-Time SLP Position Available!

Non-profit, AT program (ATEC) has a full-time SLP position available to serve clients who are in the greater Los Angeles area; serving LA, Pasadena, Glendale, Burbank. The program provides a range of AT and AAC services throughout So. Cal. and is growing to meeting an increasing demand for services. The position offers opportunities in AAC program development, assessment, training and education. This position requires knowledge of AAC, and strong communication and case management skills. Appropriate licensure is required and two years of AAC experience is preferred. If interested, please email resume to Lauren Wetzler at or call 714.361.6200 ext.226.

An additional opening
SLP consultant position (hrs. flexible, part-time) available for our Orange County based services. Contact Lauren for details.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

AAC Tip #8 from SDUSD

Thanks to the Assistive Technology team at San Diego Unified for sharing their AAC tips!

  • When you have trouble locating vocabulary or using the device. Express your frustration by saying something like... "Where is that word?" or "Why isn't this working?"

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Re-Post: Personalizing Communication Supports for Individual Success

Every time I visit the special day preschool classroom of Timaree Hayes I see a communication or participation visual support I hadn't noticed before. She directed me to the wonderful blog, Considerate Classroom, and their wealth of printables and ideas.

Just this month, Considerate Classroom re-posted a very thorough entry about Aided Language Input using static communication books. Here is a sample page...
There are also some lovely videos of similar supports in action with a particularly sweet student named Lilly... (see all of Lindy McDaniel's YouTube videos, HERE)

Take a look at Considerate Classroom!

Join us in Pasadena, 10/21/14

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 (6:30-8:30 p.m.)

Location: Villa Esperanza Services, 2116 E. Villa Street, Pasadena, CA 91107

Topic - "AAC New and Reviews: Share Your Experience"

  • Tips and tools from the 32nd annual Closing the Gap convention (Minneapolis, MN)
  • October is AAC Awareness Month - social media activity
  • New products from Apple
  • Primer on SGDs and MediCare coverage
  • ...and more!

   FREE! Always. Bring a colleague.

FUTURE PASADENA MEETINGS: Mark your calendars!

Winter 2015 - Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Spring 2015 - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

If these meetings are not in your "territory," we may be hosting our first ever Orange County meeting in early 2015! Follow the blog (enter your email address in the cell on the right column) to receive a daily email whenever new posts are up. Contact to join the (less often) email list.

AAC Tip #7 from SDUSD

Thanks to the Assistive Technology team at San Diego Unified for sharing their AAC tips!

TIP: Use the device YOURSELF. 

  • Use the device yourself to communicate with the student. Providing a strong language model is important for learning any mode of communication (speech, sign language, picture-based communication). Only if we speak AAC to them, can we expect them to speak AAC to us! 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

October is AAC Awareness Month - Giveaways

RE-POST from
Could it really be October already?! Let’s start off AAC Awareness Month with a giveaway.
We are so grateful to the following organizations for donating raffle prizes for this drawing. Please take a moment to thank them.
LINK to the PrAACtical AAC Blog to read more and participate!