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.

Follow this blog via email at the right.
Join our email list:
Friend us on Facebook SoCal AAC
Follow us on Twitter @SCAACN

Friday, July 31, 2015

Free Eye Gaze Downloads from Inclusive Technology

Inclusive Technology has a range of software and information specifically for eye gaze that you can download for FREE.

Created especially for teachers, therapists and carers working with students with complex needs in the classroom to provide an essential guide for those interested in and taking their first steps with eye gaze.

Download here!

FREE 14 Day Trials of Attention and Looking, Exploring and Playing and Choosing and Learning. 54 fun and meaningful activities based on the Inclusive Eye Gaze Learning Curve (Cause and Effect to Communication and Learning) that can be used with any child trying their first steps with eye gaze.
View software here!

Download free comprehensive Guidebooks for each of the three software titles that give an overview of the software, a roadmap of skills addressed plus detailed guidance for each activity.

View Guidebooks here!

Minspeak E-Newsletter Issue 126

  • Spread the Word: "I've been doing some parent training over the summer using the Module 1 Script Cards from the Pixon Project Kit. They are so simple and easy for parents to follow. It really helped them understand how to use core words in everyday activities. Plus, the cues for prompting and responding were so helpful." From Andrew in MD
  • Core with Core: Help your students cope with vocabulary used in the common core state standards (CCSS). The word of the week is INFER. Have your student define infer with these core words: "make a smart guess from what you know." Have the student say and write the definition. Add the word and definition to a chart of CCSS critical words. To learn with rhythm, rhyme, and movement, repeat this short chant: What I know then have to guess. I must infer, yes yes yes. Show students simple pictures (e.g., a person at the beach). Ask them to make inferences (e.g., what time of the year is it? = summer)
  • Cooking with Core: Each recipe in the Cooking with Core series shows how to simplify directions in a recipe in order to model and prompt use of core vocabulary. The recipe for this week is No Bake Cheesecake. Use the PASS program to make any necessary visual support materials.
  • Spotlight: The 2015-2016 Pittsburgh AAC Language Seminar Series is going to be another excellent year of speakers. Review the upcoming schedule and find the time when you or someone you know should attend. Slots fill up very quickly, so don’t wait too long!

Monday, July 27, 2015

OC Summer Quarterly Meeting - Thurs. August 6th!

Hello Networkers,
It's time to meet up for our Summer Quarterly Meeting at the Orange County Office of Education in Costa Mesa. Our July date was rescheduled for NEXT WEEK. Join us on Thursday, August 6th, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Margaret Perkins and Margaret Vento-Wilson will present on the following topics:
  • AAC and Early Literacy Experiences
  • Literacy Implementation and AAC (Actual Reading Instruction)
  • Funding for a Speech Generating Device through California Children’s Services:
  • Collaborate with CCS to obtain a SGD: How to Develop a Successful Team Approach

Many thanks to Nancy Melgares of the OCDE for hosting this meeting!

Where:  OCDE, Conference Center, Building D 
             200 Kalmus Drive, Costa Mesa, 92626
When:   Thursday, August 6th, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Who:     All interested! 
             Speech people, AT people, OT people, teacher people, 
             parent people - FREE as always. Bring a colleague.

Please RSVP to no later than Monday, August 3rd so we know to expect you!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Pasadena Summer Quarterly Meeting - Tuesday, July 14th!

Hello Networkers,
Summer is in full swing and we are gearing up for our Pasadena Summer Quarterly Meeting hosted by Professional Child Development Associates (PCDA) and Anne Davis, SLP. 

We will be screening ASHA's July, free-to-all case studies course entitled, "An Overview of the AAC Assessment Process," presented in streaming video by Patricia Ourand, MS, CCC-SLP. We will watch, reflect, and discuss as a group on Tuesday, July 14th, which also happens to be Bastille Day. Come for the networking, stay for the French inspired snacks! And feel free to break out your red, white, and blue garb again when you join us.
Where:  PCDA, 620 N. Lake Ave, Pasadena, 91101
             Upstairs conference room
When:   Tuesday, July 14th, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Who:     All interested! 
             Speech type people, OT people, teacher people, 
             parent people - FREE as always. Bring a colleague.

Please RSVP to no later than Sunday, July 12 so we can be sure there is a mini croissant (and a chair) with your name on it.

Course Description: As an SLP who understands language and speech production, you can do an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) assessment. Today more than ever, SLPs who work in all settings and across all ages need to be able to provide informed, client-centered recommendations for AAC services. But the number of options available and the variety of individual needs to consider can be overwhelming. Using video and case study discussions, Pat Ourand will guide you through a detailed assessment process to support you in making strong recommendations based on an individual’s specific needs to improve the patient’s ability to communicate. You will walk away with some sample assessment tools, a sample assessment write-up, and a list of useful web references.

P.S. One need not be an ASHA member to gain access to this course and watch it on your own at this LINK.

Monday, July 6, 2015

July Live AAC Webinars/CEUs from PRC

It's Not Rocket Science: Learning How to Talk with AAC in Science Class

•  July 8, 2015 (Wednesday), 2:00p.m. to 3:00p.m. EST

•  Price: $35.00

"This was a great webinar.  I can take the information from the handouts and use it tomorrow in my teaching!" - Terre H.

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

•  July 20, 2015 (Monday), 12:00p.m. to 1:00p.m. EST
•  Price: $35.00

"This was a great course for learning how to incorporate devices into daily activities in a classroom!" - Rachel F.

AAC in the Home: For Parents, From Parents

•  July 20, 2015 (Monday), 4:00p.m. to 5:00p.m. EST
•  Price: $24.00

"This course highlights how to make AAC communication a part of daily life in our home." 
- Elizabeth S.

AAC 101: Using Early Language Development to Guide AAC Intervention

•  July 22, 2015 (Wednesday), 12:00p.m. to 1:00p.m. EST
•  Price: $35.00

"I found this to be one of the most enjoyable trainings I have participated in - from the cost to the ease of interaction.  Lots of valuable information in a short period of time.  Thank you." - Pier R.

Apps to Help Grow Language

•  July 22, 2015 (Wednesday), 1:00p.m. to 2:00p.m. EST
•  Price: $35.00

"Great ideas that can be used immediately". - Emily C.

AAC Evaluations: Painting a Successful Submission

•  July 28, 2015 (Tuesday), 2:00p.m. to 3:00p.m. EST

•  Price: $35.00

"This was a quick and easy guide for submission of reports.  All questions were answered and it was delivered in a very clear way." - Kim M.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

SLP Newsletter CF303

This just in for Summer! Tips for SLPs, therapists and parents from Louise Valente and Annette Crotty at
Fidgets, resources, and jokes! Read on...and email them to be added to their list.


Speech pathologists are always learning, and summer is a great time to mull over your caseload: what students were toughest, and how can you serve them better next year? Many of the SLPs in our practice are slowly building their knowledge of sensory strategies.

A question was posed on 
ASHA Special Interest Group 16: School-based Issues about older students. What can you provide to an older student to keep their hands busy while being conscious of social acceptability? Would one of these work for your students?  Could you use your visits to the dollar store to collect some helpful items?  

  • Jewelry: Leather bracelet; stretchy tennis sweatband; spinning rings (available on Amazon); dream catcher bracelet; weighted pocket scarf
  • Pocket Tools: Square of felt, pipe cleaner, metal binder ring with pony beads, worry beads, thumb coin, stretchy key chains,Bendaroos, paper clips, found objects from nature such as acorns   
Students will be more successful if they understand the difference between a fidget and a distractor, and are prepared to explain how it helps to teachers/students who question them.  

Featured Website: Basic and Advanced AAC!

Looking for an information clearinghouse for anything AAC? One of the brilliant CF candidates we interviewed raved   

Information ranges from a tutorial on how to make a better visual support to specific strategies of the month such as engaging the learner and building longer sentences.

Jokes for Kids 

We know your favorite part of our newsletter is the kid jokes, but did you know that you can get PCSS curated kid jokes on Twitter? Follow us on 
@PCSSinSoCal for a morning kid joke. Here are three of our recent favorites. 

What goes under your feet and over your head? A jump rope!

Why did the melon jump in the lake? It wanted to be a watermelon!

Why was the baseball game so hot? Because all the fans left!