OUR AAC CHALLENGE: FROM THE BOX TO THE CLASSROOM TO LIFE
Prentke Romich Company
31 Pine Road
Guntersville AL 35976
Day Phone: 256—571—9663
device has arrived in the box. Where do I start and how do I get the client
using the device? What support materials are out there to support me in this
effort? What is new that will minimize the planning time and maximize my time
with my client?
evaluation is completed, funding has been accomplished and the device has
arrived in the box. Where do I start and how do I get the client using the
device in all areas of their lives? This is the question that plagues all of us
in the field of AAC. The first step is deciding what should be in the device.
Looking at your client and their environment to help you determine what
vocabulary is needed in the system is one approach, looking at data that gives
us word lists of words that are used 80% of the time is yet another and a
combination of both is the method we will support. We will talk about
vocabulary and planning for transition and growth. Certainly speed, getting
this to our client and having them talking as fast as possible is essential. We
will talk about a concept that allows you to have the client using the device
five minutes after the device comes out of the box. How much of your time do
you spend creating vocabulary on the device versus teaching the client?
to respond and express themselves? Are their solutions to make this step
easier? We have to be able to plan for growth and expansion of their skills
form the beginning.
next question is what support materials are available to assist me in the
teaching of the vocabulary that is in the device? We will look at the
requirements developing therapy materials puts on the vocabulary organization
structure. Utilizing off the shelf teaching materials, such as Super Duper products,
makes implementation easier and fun. All vocabulary sets on all devices require
teaching and learning for both the staff and the end user. Building on the
existing vocabulary as their language expands requires a rule based design.
Language follows specific rules that allow for consistency. We will look at
some design rules and patterns that will support earlier information.
materials used to teach literacy need to be assessable to the AAC user as well.
Developing an interface for these materials can be as easy as getting the
adapted version or as overwhelming as requiring you the support person by
individually developing adaptations. Several companies are partnering together
to accomplish this very task. Intellitools, Ablenet and professionals such as
Karen Erickson are working to establish materials that will make these products
that user to transition to the next year’s teacher and class is also an
overwhelming responsibility. Having the vocabulary documented will aid in that
transition. What other things can we do at the close of every year to prepare
us to be ready to start the next year off successfully? We will provide some
ideas and strategies that we are using to make this better.
My goal is to provide you with an alternative approach which will ease the burden off the support staff and allow the client to get to using their device faster and more efficiently for years to come.