2003 Conference Proceedings

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Joni Nygard, M.S.CCC-SLP
Director: Speech & Language Product Development
504 Commerce Parkway
Verona WI 53593-0160
Phone: 1.800.327.4269
Fax: 1.800.942.3865
Email: joni@attainmentcompany.com

Technology surrounds us in our everyday lives. Some tools or devices we can use easily and other tools may challenge us. Today, augmentative alternative communication (AAC) devices are easier to acquire through medical and educational models of service delivery than in years past. Equipment acquisition is truly the "easy part". How do we support and empower our friends with disabilities to use the tools or devices to increase their independence? What type of services can we access to assist each person to be able to communicate with another person in their life? Can we effectively use assistive technology tools or AAC devices in classrooms as learning tools that complement and reinforce educational curriculum? The implementation questions are cropping up everywhere in efforts to support AAC consumers in natural environments. In this presentation, we'll 'Go Talk' about implementation ideas that you can try tomorrow.

Explore and expand your ideas on the use of Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) and Assistive Technology (AT) strategies in the classroom or community settings. Each participant will leave the session with at least 10 simple ideas on how to incorporate AAC tools into their environment! Low cost tools that are available in your town on store shelves will also be integrated into this exciting session! Augmentative communication hardware and software that will enable individuals to communicate and to learn specific academic or life skills will also be featured. These tools will be applied with integration ideas in natural environments from early learning years through adulthood.

Discussion will include strategies that are specific to integrating augmentative and alternative communication solutions into everyday life, your life. If you are unable to use or identify a use for an AAC tool, how can you expect a student or client to integrate the use of AAC tools successfully into his/her environment? So come and learn how your students can communicate in everyday activities. Write an Individual Education Plan (IEP) objective or two that sets the stage for integrated use of AAC/AT in classroom and community based activities. Creatively use tools and strategies available to you within this session to communicate ideas.

The Go Talks and Pocket Go Talks featured in this session allow individuals to learn receptive and expressive language skills. Use these powerful, portable, tools and others for augmentative communication and curriculum enrichment! Whether you're a beginner or a more experienced communicator, a Go Talk can be adapted to meet your needs. If you have physical challenges, the scan ability of the Pocket Go Talk may be just what the student or client was looking for to communicate in their community activities. Examples will be demonstrated through the use of creative overlays. Bring an idea and perhaps we can create an overlay for someone you know, using the easy to use Go Talk Overlay Software.

If you set your standards high, you can successfully include AAC/AT into your day-to-day activities. Perhaps you will even be the lucky winner of a voice output device during this session! Or you'll develop a few ideas to take home and implement with the students or clients in your community!

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Reprinted with author(s) permission. Author(s) retain copyright.