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, November 8, 2015

LA/Pasadena Quarterly Meeting Wrap Up

The LA/Pasadena Fall Quarterly Meeting on October 20, "Update on iPad AAC Apps," was attended by 10 Networkers and was graciously hosted by Anne Davis, SLP, and Professional Child Development Associates (PCDA) in Pasadena.

Loyal Truong is the SLP at Goodwill Industries' assistive technology assessment center - ATEC - housed within the Koch-Young Family Resource Center in LA. Loyal shared on his use of the GoTalk Now app, one highlight of which is the ability to link to a URL via a button/message area. Loyal demonstrated a remarkable visual scene display he created in GoTalk Now to replicate the functionality of a robust language system (that is, using a screen shot of another language system he was able to - with lots of programming - simulate this vocabulary). He admitted that this intensive programming is not necessary with access to an appropriately feature-matched app, but it was great to see what's possible!

Bernadette Kennard is the founder of Trivinity Consulting, an AAC consulting company operating out of Long Beach. Bernadette is involved in both the LA and the OC branches of SCAACN and was excited to share on her use of the AutisMate app; however, she wasn't able to make the meeting at the last moment. So sorry Bernadette! She was so kind as to share some highlights of the app in this summary document, HERE.

Gwendolyn Eberhard (that's me) is the Director of the Speech & Language Center at Villa Esperanza in Pasadena. Gwendolyn shared on her use of the Proloquo2go app with a student who has very limited movement. The app is set up for 2-switch "inverse" or "hold" scanning (hold switch 1 to scan continuously as long as the switch is depressed, lift and then hit the 2nd switch to select). Proloquo doesn't list inverse or hold scanning as an option, but through some creative settings in their Step Scanning it is possible to simulate this type of scan. Thanks to Dr. Sean Early of Pasadena Unified's Assistive Technology program for introducing me to this possibility within PLQ!  HERE is a written description of the settings and switch placement for a sample student whose best movement is head roll right and left on a wheelchair headrest.

Terry Kappe is a local SLP/AAC specialist and owner of Speech & Language Therapy Services. She shared some of the outstanding features of the TouchChat HD with WordPower app. These included: 

  • Use of a photo as a background image to create visual scene display pages within a vocabulary;
  • The Play Video feature that is helpful in assessment to determine whether or not a client is able to retain a sequence of hits in order to reach a highly preferred outcome;
  • Use of the app to create assessment vocabulary sets both for AAC assessment, and also to replicate flashcard-like standardized tools for less-than-standard probes (i.e., anecdotal reporting only)

Great information! Thank you to all of our participants and presenters. See you all for our Winter Quarterly Meeting on Tuesday, February 16 back at Villa Esperanza Services.

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