2006 Conference General Sessions

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INCREASING THE APPEAL OF AAC TECHNOLOGIES USING VSD'S IN PRESCHOOL LANGUAGE INTERVENTION


Presenter 1
William Coker, CCC-SLP
University of Memphis
Midsouth Technology
Memphis
TN
38107
USA
Day Phone: 901—481—6513
Fax:
Email: wcoker@memphis . edu


PRESENTER 2
Jan Shook, CCC-SLP
Advanced Multimedia Devices, Inc.
200 Frank Road
Hioksville
Ni
11801
USA
Day Phone: 901—351—0482
Fax: 516—822—0808
Email: jans@amdi.net


Increasing the Appeal of AAC Technologies Using VSD’s in Preschool Language Intervention

Visual scene display (VSD’s) look different from typical AAC displays. Hybrid VSD’s designed to provide maximum contextual support: (1)increasing appeal, (2) decreasing learning demands, will be presented.

Researchers are currently observing the impact of VSD’s and hybrid VSD’s on early language/concept development and on social interaction. This session will explore applications of VSD’s in a variety of preschool). settings and with a variety of communication challenges and disabilities. Traditional methodologies and equipment have worked well for many users with the benefit of technology advances never eridi rio. However, there were complaints that AAC devices were difficult to use and time consuming to learn.
The use of VSD’s is actually a return to previous methods implemented during the early years of augmentative communication therapy. We created “picture stories” about activities of the day — such as a lunch at McDonald’s or a trip to the pet store. As years have passed and technology has become more and more complex, our augmentative communication devices reflected that sophistication. The Volume 16, August, 2004, issue of Augmentative Communication News, (author Sarah Blackstone, Ph.D.) was devoted entirely to Visual Scene Displays with attention to the most recent and ongoing research by David Beukelman, Kathy Drager, Jeff Higginbotham, Janice Light and Howard Shane - all in collaboration with the AAC—RERC (Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on
Communication Enhancement).
During the 1970’s and 1980’s the disability rights movement brought children and adults with severe physical, communication and cognitive disabilities into the community. . .many of them for the first time. Clinical teams and advocates found ways for individuals with limited communication alternative methods of expression. C techniques, strategies, and technologies have enabled many people with severe communication impairments to fulfill social roles and to pursue personal goals. AAC devices fell into two camps... the digitized/recorded device with a limited number of messages and the synthesized speech output device which placed cognitive demands on the individual user and required time to learn. Devices available up until now to beginning communicators and individuals with cognitive and linguistic limitations were comprised of isolated symbols, whose meaning must be learned . . . typically arranged in rows and columns requiring navigation through pages to retrieve phrases or words.
Researchers hypothesized that AAC device displays were not organized in ways that reflected how young children think, and findings confirmed the hypothesis. They did not group symbols in pages by category, by activity, alphanumerically or
idiosyncratically. . .80% of the time they sorted according to an activity-based (schematic) organization (i.e., grouping together the people, actions, objects and descriptors associated with bedtime, mealtime, or shopping). VSD’s offer a way to (1) capture events in the individual’s life, (2) offer interactants a greater degree of contextual information to support interaction, and (3) enable communication partners to participate more actively in the communication process. These scenes may be a generic context (drawing of a house with a yard) or a personalized context (digital photo of the individual’s house and yard).
VSD’s can be highly personalized, which is important for young children learning language, for individuals who display autism spectrum disorder, or for developmentally delayed/mentally retarted children needing contextual support. Communicative reinforcement is immediate and is strong because the opportunity for dialog is set by virture of the VSD being available for both parties.
Advances in mainstream technologies (e.g., full computer capabilities, internet access,
• text messaging, musical recordings, miniaturization, multi—functionality, storage capacities, processing speed, video, photo and voice capabilities, locator functions) offer options that may better address the requirements of people with complex communication needs who have, until now, been un-served or underserved by AAC technologies. Researchers are currently investigating how VSD’s may be helpful to beginning communicators and individuals with cognitive and linguistic limitations.
Researchers at Penn State identified difficulties with current AAC technologies. Recognizing that early childhood represents a crucial development period, and that young children at risk for severe communication impairments need the earliest possible access to 7\J\C strategies. Janice Light and Kathy Drager suggest (1) to increase the appeal ci C technologies for young children and (2) to decrease the learning demands on young children who can benefit from MC technologies wouid increase interaction w5th communication devices by beginning communicators.
Traditional language intervention methodologies will be presented combined with VSD technology for examination as a possible approach for increased linguistic/cognitive growth. Hybrid VSD’s with various navigational formats will be demonstrated for social communication and for preschool curriculums.
The participants will be able to describe the difference between traditional grid vocabulary-based displays and the contextual—based Visual Scene Displays from a clinical application perspective. They will recognize structural design differences between VSD’s for communication and VSD’s for language/cognitive facilitation.
REFERENCES:
Blackstone, S., Augmentative Communication News. Volume 16, August, 2004.
Chomsky, N. 1957. Syntactic Structures. Norton Pubs., The Hague, The Netherlands.
• Chomsky, N. 1965. Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, MA.
Cimorell-Strong, J.M. Language Facilitation — A Complete Cognitive Therapy Program. Pro—Ed, Austin, TX. 1983
2

Cooke, J and Williams, D. Working with Children’s Language — Intervention Strategies for Therapy. Communication Skill Builders, Tucson, AZ. 1987.
Copeland, R. Piagetian Activities - A Diagnostic and Developmental Approach.to Thinking
• Publications, Eau Claire, WI.
1988.
Gagne’, R.
The Conditions of Learning. Molt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc. New York. 1965.
Millard, S.W., L.P. Goepfert, & B.G. Farber. “A preschool for communicatively impaired children: An Innovative Approach. Mini—seminar presented at the annual
conference of the American Speech and Bearing Association, Houston, 1976.
Buman Interactions: The Emergence of Language.
8 http://home.tisoali.nl/knmgO234/9language.htm. 2005.
Rudder, K.F. and Smith, M.D. Developmental Language Intervention: Psycholinguistic
Applications: University Park Press. Baltimore, MD. 1984.
Slobin, D.I. 1973. Cognitive prerequisites for the development of grammar. In: C.A.
Ferguson and D.I. Slobin (eds.), Studies of Child Development. Molt, Rinehart,
and Winston, Inc. New York.
Wolf-Nelson, N. Planning Individualized Speech and Language Intervention Programs.
Communication Skill Builders, Inc., Tucson, AZ. 1979.
Jan Shook, M.S., CCC-SLP
AMDi Representative


Language Intervention

Sentence Summary: Visual SL Hybrid VSD’s designed to pro decreasing learning demands,

The use of VSD’s is actually a return to previous methods implemented during the early years of augmentative communication therapy. We created “picture stories” about activities of the day - such as a lunch at McDonald’s or a trip to the pet store. As years have passed and technology has become more and more complex, our augmentative communication devices reflected that sophistication. The Volume 16, August, 2004, issue of Augmentative Communication News, (author Sarah Blackstone, Ph.D.) was devoted entirely
• to Visual Scene Displays with attention to the most recent and ongoing research by David Beukelman, Kathy Drager, Jeff Higginbotham, Janice Light and Howard Shane - all in collaboration with the AAC-RERC (Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Communication Enhancement). [www.aac-rerc.com).
During the 1970’s and 1980’s the disability rights movement brought children and adults

 

 Researchers are currently on early language/concept development, explore applications of VSD’s in a va communication challenges and disabilities worked well for many AAC users with the b&, However, there were complaints that AAC development from typical AAC displays. increasing appeal of VSD’s and hybrid VSD’s tion. This session will attendings and with a variety of methodologies and equipment have technology advances never ending and difficult to use and time consuming with severe physical, communication and cognitive disabilities into the community. . .rnany of them for the first time. Clinical teams and advocates found ways for individuals with limited communication alternative methods of expression. AAC techniques, strategies, and technologies have enabled many people with severe communication impairments
• social roles and to pursue personal goals. AAC devices fell into two camps... the digitized/recorded device with a limited number of messages... .and the synthesized speech output device which placed cognitive demands on the individual user and required time to learn. Devices available up until now to beginning communicators and individuals with cognitive and linguistic limitations were comprised of isolated symbols, whose meaning must be learned. . . typically arranged in rows and columns requiring navigation through pages to retrieve phrases.
or words.
Researchers hypothesized that AAC device displays were not organized in ways that reflected how young children think, and findings confirmed the hypothesis. They did not group symbols in pages by category, by activity, alphanumerically or
idiosyncratically.. .80% of the time they sorted according to an activity—based (schematic) organization (i.e., grouping together the people, actions, objects and descriptors associated with bedtime, mealtime, or shopping) . VSD’s offer a way to (1) capture events in the individual’s life, (2) offer interactants a greater degree of contextual information to support interaction, and (3) enable communication partners to participate more actively in the communication process. These scenes may be a generic context (drawing of a house with a yard) or a personalized context (digital photo of the individual’s house and yard)
VSD’s can be highly personalized, which is important for young children learning language, for individuals who display autism spectrum disorder, or for developmentally delayed/mentally retarted children needing contextual support. Communicative reinforcement is immediate and is strong because the opportunity for dialog is set by virtue of the VSD being available for both parties.
• Advances in mainstream technologies (e.g., full computer capabilities, Internet access, text messaging, musical recordings, miniaturization, multi—functionality, storage capacities, processing speed, video, photo and voice capabilities, locator functions) offer options that may better address the requirements of people with complex communication needs who have, until now, been un-served or underserved by AAC technologies. Researchers are currently investigating how VSD’s may be helpful to beginning communicators and individuals with cognitive and linguistic limitations.
Researchers at Penn State identified difficulties with current AAC technologies. Recognizing that early childhood represents a crucial development period, and that young children at risk for severe communication impairments need the earliest possible access to AND strategies. Janice Light and Kathy Drager suggest (1) to increase the appeal of AND technologies for young children and (2) to decrease the learning dynamics of young children who can benefit from AAC technologies would increase interaction with communication devices by beginning communicators.
Traditional language intervention methodologies will be presented combined with VSD technology for examination as a possible approach for increased linguistic/cognitive growth. Hybrid VSD’s with various navigational formats will be demonstrated for social communication and for preschool curriculums.
The participants will be able to describe the difference between traditional grid vocabulary-based displays and the contextual—based Visual Scene Displays from a clinical application perspective. They will recognize structural design differences between VSD’s for communication and VSD’s for language/cognitive facilitation.

REFERENCES:
Blackstone, S., Augmentative Communication News. Volume 16, August, 2004.
Chomsky, N. 1957. Syntactic Structures. Norton Pubs., The Hague, The Netherlands. Chomsky, N. 1965. Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, M.I.T. Press, Cambridge, MA.
Cimorell—Strong, J.M. Language Facilitation - A Complete Cognitive Therapy Program. Pro—Ed, Austin, TX. 1983.
2

Cooke, J and Williams, D. Working with Children’s Language — Intervention Strategies for Therapy. Communication Skill Builders, Tucson, AZ. 1987.
Copeland, H. Piagetian Activities - A Diagnostic and Developmental Approach.Thinking Publications, Eau Claire, WI. 1988.
Gagne’, H.
The Conditions of Learning. Bolt, Łünehart, and Winston, Inc. New York. 1965.
Hillard, S.W., L.P. Goepfert, & H.G. Farber. “A preschool for communicatively impaired children: An Innovative Approach. Mini-seminar presented at the annual
conference of the American Speech and Hearing Association, Houston, 1976.
Human Interactions: The Emergence of Language.
@ http://home.tiscali.nl/knmgO234/9language.htm. 2005.
Rudder, K.F. and Smith, M.D. Developmental Language Intervention: Psycholinguistic
Applications: University Park Press. Baltimore, MD. 1964.
Slobin, D.I. 1973. Cognitive prerequisites for the development of grammar. In: C.A.
Ferguson and D.I. Slobin (eds.), Studies of Child Development. Bolt, Rinehart,
and Winston, Inc.
New York.
Wolf—Nelson, N. Planning Individualized Speech and Language Intervention Programs.
Communication Skill Huilders, Inc., Tucson, AZ. 1979.
Jan Shook, M.S., CCC-SLP


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