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This week, the TWT team is pleased to share the second half of the “Golden Rules of AAC Competency in a New Era of Communication.” This session was originally presented by Lucas, Chris, and Rachel as part of the #XedAAC18 conference!
Key ideas this week include:
🔑 Overlapping treatment with other professionals can teach you strategies you did not learn in your own professional training.
🔑 It is important to support an AAC user’s “operational competency” – the ability to turn on the device, change the volume, plug it in, etc.
🔑 The COLE (Continuum of Language Expression) is a free tool used by therapists and IEP teams to evaluate early language development. http://bit.ly/colegooglesheets
Before Part 2 of the Golden Rules of AAC Competency:
- Chris was at the ISTE conference in PA.
- PRC and Saltillo had a booth, Tobii was also there. More of the sessions were on AAC this year! This is a mainstream ed tech conference, not specific to students with disabilities.
- At ISTE, Bridges Canada was talking with Chris about accessible coding. Showed accessible controller they are trying to make. Idea is the AAC user will be the one doing the coding themselves.
- Jane Odom talked about putting on a presentation about accessible coding and Chris introduced her to Bridges Canada.
- Great thing about conferences is the people you meet and connections you make, not just the content you learn in the sessions.
- Rachel went to dinner hosted by Jason Lehmbeck with other professionals who work with children with disabilities.
- Practitioners went around and talked about why they do what they do. Played “Roast or Toast” about technology – something you like or don’t like.
- Rachel “toasted” how AAC can give people access to communication when they otherwise may not.
- The value of overlapping or observing people outside of your professional domain (e.g., occupational therapists, applied behavior analysts). You can pick up strategies and ideas that you were not exposed to in your own training.
- If we can support other domains in our sessions, we can work together and see the most progress.
- Importance of teaching operational competency and how to actually operate the user’s device (e.g., turn up the volume, turn it on, plug it in).
- Rachel has been working on operational competency with a student for a couple of years. In the middle of his session, the device died.
- Rachel often uses visuals, like batteries, to teach when and how to charge the device.
- Client picked up the device and plugged the device in without prompting!
Topics in Part 2 of the Golden Rules of AAC Competency
- Data collection in therapy with AAC users
- Importance of teaching how to maximize communication opportunities with communication partners
- Having AAC users add their own vocabulary to their devices
- Discussion of the COLE and the DAGG-2
Hosts: Rachel Madel and Chris Bugaj
Producer: Luke Padgett
Audio Editing: Michaela Ball
Music: “Ebb and Flow” by Fabian Measures