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, January 27, 2015

SCAAC-Network, Orange County!

We're expanding the Network of AAC-interested professionals and parents to Orange County, CA! 

Upcoming meetings will (tentatively) be held on 3rd Thursdays for 2015, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Spring 2015 - Thursday, April 16, 2015
  • Margaret Vento-Wilson, SLP, will present a research brief on her study,"The Effect of Training on AAC Use in Acute Care."
  • Margaret Perkins, SLP, will share the stories of 2 complex communicators on her caseload as well as insights and ideas she gains from attending ATIA 2015 in Orlando.
  • Announcements & advocacy update
Summer 2015 - Thursday, July 16, 2015
     Topic: TBD

Fall 2015 - Thursday, October 15, 2015
     Topic: TBD
Additional Orange County info will be posted on the "Quarterly Meetings - OC" tab (above).

Meeting Notes from the Inaugural Meeting, Thursday, 1/15/15 at ATEC in Santa Ana - Thursday's planning meeting was a rousing success! We were sorry to have to keep our numbers small, but glad to get the networking going in Orange County. Twelve minds came together and settled on a plan of action. I hope you will weigh in via the 3-question survey (LINK here and below) and forward this email to other AAC-interested professionals on your Contacts list.

The agenda included:

1. Introductions
2. Announcements
  • Paul Richard shared this excerpt from Ed Code (LINK) on the provision of assistive technology related services. It's remarkable how broad the list of qualified providers stretches!
  • Rani Wasano shared this AAC job announcements for OC and LA counties (LINK)
  • Margaret Vento-Wilson invited all to participate in the first ever AAC Luncheon at the annual California Speech and Hearing Convention in Long Beach (March 5-8). Day and location TBA.
3. Review of SCAAC-N L.A. activities, meetings, and topics 2010-present
4. Logistics for the O.C. branch
  • Quarterly, evening meetings in January, April, July, October. Day-of-the-week TBD. Please participate in this 3-question survey to weigh in on your preferences (LINK)
  • Meeting location: OC Department of Ed (thank you, Paul!) based on space allowance (20+)
  • All volunteer (site, snacks, participation), no $$
Topic ideas for future OC meetings: 
(person responsible in parentheses where applicable)
  • Presentation of challenging questions in order to get input from colleagues. Use of a standard framework for such case presentations (P. Richard).
  • Compare and contrast tools that have worked for your clients/students (beyond a checklist: how it was introduced, how the learner became familiar, use by the team, use across settings), 
  • Implementation and getting the team on board with AAC
  • AAC in hospitals, clinics, and other non-school settings
  • Policy and advocacy news - a quarterly report (M. Perkins)
  • Current research in AAC - quarterly report on recent published data (M. Vento-Wilson)
  • Offering CEUs for participating in Network events (K. Tan)
  • Inclusion of AAC parents in future activities
  • Collaborating with CSHA District 8 on future training events
  • Possible full-day AAC workshop(s), mini-conferences regionally in the future
  • Resource sharing (G. Eberhard alluded to support docs from San Diego USD's AT Team, LINK here)
Next OC meeting:
  • 3rd week of April 2015 (day TBD, please participate in the survey), 6:00-8:00 pm.
  • Location: OC Department of Ed, 200 Kalmus Drive, Costa Mesa, 92626
April 2015 Topics:
  • Margaret Vento-Wilson, SLP, will present a research brief on her study, "The Effect of Training on AAC Use in Acute Care."
  • Margaret Perkins, SLP, will share the stories of 2 complex communicators on her caseload as well as insights and ideas she gains from attending ATIA 2015 in Orlando.
  • Announcement & advocacy update
FREE as always! Please invite an AAC-interested colleague.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

AAC Workshop at Vanderbilt University (Nashville)

Need an excuse to visit Nashville this February? There is a great looking 2-day workshop at Vanderbilt!

Re-Post from AAC Girls: AAC Workshop at Vanderbilt University - February 26 & 27: What and When:  AAC Conference at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 

Thursday, February 26, 6:30 - 8:00 pm 
Sibling Strengths:  Building AAC Supports as a Family
Emily D. Quinn, M.S., CCC-SLP

Friday, February 27, 8:00 am - 3:30 pm
Communication All Day Long:  Communication Circles, Topic Setting and MORE
Dr. Caroline Ramsey Musselwhite

Monday, January 12, 2015

Speech Techie - Sean Sweeney, SLP

If you don't follow Speech Techie, give him a look! A great resource for new developments and ideas. Follow Sean Sweeney on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

What Do I Do Monday Morning - Behavioral Strategies

Just a friendly post to let you know that there is a new, temporary, tab on the blog (see above, CSHA 1/10/15) where I have posted slides and related materials from this morning's workshop on reframing behavior problems from an emotion regulation perspective and visual supports that can help.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Music Therapy and Rett Syndrome (1/13/15, Call-In Session)

Call-in Audio Session Outline:
I: What is this music therapy of which you speak?
II. Why is music therapy so helpful to girls with Rett Syndrome?
III. What are some sample music therapy goals and objectives for girls with RTT?
IV. How can a family request music therapy services on an IEP?
V. How can music be used outside of music therapy?
VI. Resources for music/musical instruments/music therapy
VII. Questions and Answers

1-Question Survey from AbleNet

AbleNet is conducting a one question survey of Speech-Language Pathologists, and your response would be appreciated.

Here is a link to the survey:

This link is uniquely tied to this survey and your email address. Please do not forward this message.

Thanks for your participation!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

AAC Users Speak! - Next week in Pasadena (1/14/15)

Come to this month's Foothill Autism Alliance meeting at Westmoreland Academy in Pasadena to hear from AAC Users on their experiences finding their voice through technology. FREE to all, and a wonderful organization to support with your donations.
Download the flyer, HERE.

Monday, January 5, 2015

PRC Webinars Next Week

AAC in the Home: For Parents, From Parents (Reprised from Dec 22)

Based on input from parents of children who use AAC, this one-hour course reviews three simple steps to using a communication device at home. In addition, it discusses some fun and easy ways to incorporate a communication device into mealtime and reading activities. It concludes with sharing parents’ thoughts on major influences on a child’s ability to communicate and breakthrough moments. Practical examples, videos and materials are used throughout the course.

Content level: beginner
Price: $24.00
  • January 13, 2015 3:00 pm EST - 4:00 pm EST

Teaching Language in the Classroom: Speaking, Reading and Writing with AAC

This course will focus on using AAC in the classroom for speaking, reading and writing activities. This course is geared towards teachers, therapists and parents who work with school-age (elementary/middle/high school) children. Participants will learn how to choose target vocabulary for classroom activities based on language development principles. In addition, methods of finding and teaching vocabulary will be covered, including Icon Tutor/Word Finder™, Vocabulary Builder™ and Write with Icons. Finally, attendees will learn how to set up and deliver activities to foster communication using those same words. Practical examples and materials will be used throughout the course.

Content level: Advanced Beginner/Intermediate
Price: $35.00
  • January 14, 2015 1:00 pm EST - 2:00 pm EST

Apps to Help Grow Language

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.

Level: beginner to intermediate
Price: $35.00
  • January 15, 2015 2:00 pm EST - 3:00 pm EST

Ten Tips To Help Grow Language

This course focuses on what a family member, teacher or therapist can do to help an individual learn words; learn how to put words together; and increase sentence length using an augmentative/alternative communication (AAC) device. This is an introductory course for those who are new to implementing AAC systems. The following ten tips are reviewed: learning the AAC system, modeling, which words to use, accepting all communication, happy accidents, slowing down and waiting, prompting, the right questions, SLP tricks and taking a person-centered approach. Direct instruction, practical exercises and video examples will be used to demonstrate these principles.

Level: beginner
Price: $49.00
  • January 15, 2015 3:00 pm EST - 4:30 pm EST

iPad Giveaway from a4cwsn

We are giving away our 265th iPad and you are invited to participate. For those of you who have an iPad you may choose the $200 gift card as your gift instead if you win.


Click the link below to participate


$200 in Gift cards to give away

Complete this survey for your opportunity, takes 2 minutes.

Here is the info on the 4 x $50 visa gifts card  giveaway that you could win simply for taking 2 minutes out of your day and completing this short  Survey for Crack the Books.

The winners will be announced on our Facebook page next week.

Thanks for taking the time to do this and making a difference in our children's lives.

This giveaway ends Monday Jan 5th

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Upcoming FREE Webinars

Free Webinars - More than just K-12

Special Ed Tech Center has 13 webinars in January. All start at 3:30pm Pacific. Topics include:
  • iPad: What’s new in AT? on January 5th
  • Lower Level Math Supports: Software and Web Tools on January 7th
  • Overview of iPad Accessibility on January 8th
  • iPad: TouchChat AAC - Overview on January 12th
  • Chrome AT Apps and Extensions: Part 1
  • Multi Level Math Supports: Apps and Adapted Tools on January 14th
  • Overview of Switch Access to the iPad on January 15th
  • Chrome AT Apps and Extensions: Part 2 on January 20th
  • Higher Level Math Supports: Software and Web Tools on January 21st
  • iPad: iOS Switch Control for Higher Level Students on January 22nd
  • iPad: TouchChat AAC –Literacy Ideas on January 26th
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking on January 28th
  • Simplified Step Scanning on the iPad on 
Foundations of Assistive Technology from the Center on Technology and Disability
Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015 at 12pm Pacific, 3pm Eastern

Unleashing the Power of Innovation for Assistive Technology – Where have we been and where are we headed? from the Center on Technology and Disability, Tues, Jan 6, 12:30 pm Pacific, 30 min

Developing and Implementing an Accessibility Strategy: One Organization's Lessons (So Far)from Great Lakes ADA Center, Thurs, Jan 15, 11:00 am Pacific 

Inspiring Lifelong Learning with Bookshare from AbleNet, Tues, Jan 20, 12:00 pm Pacific, 45 min

Free Webinars - K-12

What's Next? After Assistive Technology Consideration from MITS, Thurs, Jan 15, 11:00 am Pacific 
(Must register the day before.)

Using Your Own Voice in AAC Apps from AbleNet, Tues, Jan 6, 8:00am Pacific, 30 min

UDL Supports for Diverse Learners on iOS Devices  from AbleNet
January 15, 2015 10am Pacific

Let's take Action! Include all of your students by using the AbleNet Action Dictionary from AbleNet
January 22, 2015 at 1pm Pacific