2004 Conference Proceedings

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AN OVERVIEW OF TEACHING MATERIALS TO SUPPORT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF UNITY VOCABULARY

Presenter(s)
Annalee Anderson, M.A., CCC-SLP
Prentke Romich Company
2616 Beartooth Drive
Billings, MT 59102
Email: aaprc@wtp.net

Starting with a sound vocabulary that provides room for growth is an excellent starting point, but how do I teach it? There are a variety of free materials, as well as some commercial materials from several authors. There are also some new materials on the horizon. The materials and their approach will be described in detail. Sources and cost will be shared, and many materials will be available for perusal.

Unity vocabulary is available in the AAC devices developed by the Prentke Romich Company. PRC's entry level device, the Springboard, contains the Unity for Springboard Vocabulary. Its mid-level devices, the Vantage and Vanguard II, contain Unity Enhanced Vocabulary. Finally, Unity 128 in contained in the Pathfinder. No matter which PRC device, or which Unity vocabulary is being used, this session is intended to increase your awareness of teaching ideas and materials. Initially most materials were developed for Unity 128, but as time passed, more and more materials for the newer Unity vocabularies, including Unity for Springboard and Unity Enhanced, became available.

The network of professional regional consultants who work for PRC have developed a wealth of teaching ideas and materials ranging from the Semantic Dictionary for Unity 128 to a number of Power Point files that were developed for teaching specific language components in Unity Enhanced.

PRC's website has a collection of teaching ideas. Go to www.prentrom.com, and select "Teaching Ideas and Materials." This will take you to a page where the teaching ideas are organized by age range. Select the appropriate age range for your client, and you will be taken to a list of titles and descriptions of teaching ideas available for that age range. Selection of a specific title links you to a page dedicated to that title, including the materials needed, the objective of the teaching idea, target vocabulary, and sample words and phrases. Clinicians who develop additional teaching ideas for Unity are invited to contribute their creations to this repository of teaching ideas.

Another useful website is the Pathfinder Underground, which is developed and maintained by Russell Cross, PRC's AAC Product Manager. The Pathfinder Underground website was initially developed as a resource for information on Pathfinder, but as the Vantage, Vanguard, and Springboard were developed, support information for these devices was added. This website is particularly strong as a resource of information for implementation of Springboard.

The Vantage, Vanguard II, and Springboard all include a menu of Lesson Plans in their toolbox. For the inexperienced implementor, these lesson plans can provide expert guidance in techniques for assisting the device user in learning the Unity vocabulary.

In addition to the above resources, a variety of teaching materials are available from practicing clinicians in the field. Gail VanTatenhove has a website that lists teaching materials, some of which are free, and others that are available commercially. Gail's materials include a curriculum guide called "Stepping through Unity" that will assist even the novice in teaching Unity 128. Children's books that were developed to compliment learning Unity vocabulary have been developed by Katherine Crites Lewis and are available through Awakening Technology Products.

Anticipated developments in teaching materials, particularly some software-based products, will also be presented.

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